My sadness on Brexit day

Today is a deeply sad day for me personally.  I feel European to my core. I’ve lived in the Netherlands and France. I’ve fallen in love with Europeans. I’ve felt invigorated by driving effortlessly into France and Italy when I lived in Switzerland. Our son was born in Amsterdam, receiving start-of-the-art emergency care no questions asked. I’ve worked on behalf of the UK, as part of the EU, to advance human rights within the United Nations. I sat behind the UK’s placard during negotiations, listening with pride to EU member states making the world a safer place in our name. I’ve been part of the Federation of Young European Greens, walking the corridors in the European parliament working with MEPs across the region to address climate change, an issue that knows no borders.  I’ve represented young people across Europe speaking to the Hungarian parliament.  I organised a European politics study tour to Brussels as an undergraduate, where we were in awe of the impact Britain was having.  I joined young people from across Europe, in Denmark, in my 20s to propose a citizens European Constitution, making life-long friends. Later I life, when I worked with colleagues in the European office of a former employer, I felt like one of the family. None of these opportunities are now possible for my children (as easily as they were for me). Most of them paid for by other European countries. More importantly, at the stroke of midnight, our friends from other European countries living in the UK, and British friends living in Europe, now face a very uncertain future and new reality.  I will always believe in a Britain which is outward looking and collaborative, and not give up my hope that one day we will proudly stand tall again and take our place in the EU among our friends. Vive l’Europe!

Published by Tim Shand

Co-founder ShandClarke consulting, gender equality & global health expert, PhD from UCL, former NGO Director, Labour and Union activist, Europhile, DIY addict, father of two @timjcshand

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