Mind the Millennial
Another personal rant on Brexit
Persephone is a Greek goddess who spends part of the year as the queen of the underworld and the rest of her time trying to get back. They call me Persephone because I spend most of my year in England and the rest of the time missing my home across the pond. After today, though, that analogy is much more accurate considering England has never seemed more like the underworld than it does right now.
I recently returned to America, right before the Brexit vote, but talk of it has been going on for ages in London. Every day I’d be handed Vote Remain pamphlets by at least two smiling people on the street (a rare occurrence for England) and there’d be countless others wearing I’m In stickers. Groups of American tourists would completely empty them out of these stickers and wear them just for fun, which was a bit irritating because they knew nothing of the actual issue at hand, but they were still spreading the good word. With all this pro-EU sentiment around the country, I just assumed the vote to remain was a given and didn’t dwell on it overly much. All my peers were going out to vote and leaving the EU just seemed like such a stupid thing to do it didn’t seem plausible. I guess in today’s climate, though, it was wrong to assume that people would be decent.
Brexit is happening and the young people of the UK have been let down. It’s bad enough witnessing everything fall apart from America; I can’t imagine what it must be like for all my friends right in the middle of it. Over there, teenagers and college students dream of working in the EU. They once had 27 countries completely open to them to visit and place roots in, but that option has been taken away.
And that’s only the British citizens. My university sent out an email this morning telling us all not to be scared or panic, not because this wasn’t catastrophic, but because everything will take a few years to be finalized so we can save our terror for later. Most of my friends from the EU who study in London had intended to stay in England after university considering they’re learning a British programme and gaining skills that this country desires, but now their right to even stay in the nation for school is tenable. Every one of my flatmates spoke between two to five languages and now their skillsets are just being thrown out.
I am angry and know exactly who I’m angry at. Old people. I know it sounds crass and generalizing to clump together an entire portion of the population like that, but they’re the ones who voted to make this happen. The vast- and I do mean vast- majority of young people wanted to stay in the EU, but the older generations outnumbered them in the polls and ruined it for everyone else. Personally, I don’t think anyone over the age of 65 should be allowed to vote considering it isn’t their future they’re destroying. It has been agreed that the impact of this decision won’t be fully felt for years. They’ll be dead while we, the grandchildren, deal with the consequences of something none of us wanted.
You might be wondering how something so undesirable could be voted in. The main reason is pure xenophobia. Many avid supporters of Brexit are known racists who have used derogatory slurs. During the campaign they weren’t shy about Islamophobia and used anti-Muslim sentiments as one of their fear tactics to convince British citizens to vote leave. I could bog you down with details about how their desire to “put Britain first” has hurt the nation, but instead I’ll just say that Donald Trump thinks leaving was a good idea. That should be explanatory enough.
Money talks. You’d think that the British people would have listened to it and realized that Brexit is ruining the economy swifter than anyone had guessed and will almost certainly lead to a recession. The pound hasn’t been this low in over three decades. It’s almost as low as my spirits at this point, and now I have to learn a new conversion rate when I go back in autumn. Not to mention my entire family is worried about the funds I already have in banking over there and whether I need to send over more money. What else is getting worse? Import taxes, for starters. And now Brits are going to need visas to visit countries which were once open to them. This is just a minor inconvenience, but now my EU friends will have to wait with me in the much longer International passport line at airports. Well, if we can ever go on trips again, that is.
Scotland, which is in a constant state of wanting to be free of England, is now hoping for independence once more because the majority of their population voted to stay in. Basically the rest of the world is trying to run screaming from England because they ran screaming from us. And to top this all off, the man who is partially responsible for all of this, David Cameron, is resigning. The referendum was a gamble for him and he lost so now his time as Prime Minister will end in shame. Living in London proved one thing to me and it’s that he is a very hated man. There was anti-Cameron graffiti everywhere and that man was the butt of many jokes. Regardless, the options of who will replace him actually seem worse. If you think that’s impossible, google Boris Johnson and it’ll all make sense.
All I can think about right now is the future and it looks like a sea of gray. Something out of a George Orwell novel. Surely this is just the musings of fear and all this chaos will die down in time, but right now I’m scared. I’m scared for the UK citizens who currently live in the EU and now are no longer welcome. I’m scared for the EU citizens in the UK who will be fearing deportation. The immigration laws I have to deal with are crazy enough but this is just madness.
In conclusion, send help. England is calling.