My grandmother told me that you don’t go to someone else’s house and tell them how to run it and maybe because of this I have, so far, reflected in silence about the impact that a Brexit would have in my life.
I have sat and looked at how a plural society I admire and respect has become polarised under the influence of manipulated figures and bad photoshop.
I have felt the way in which the same British people who have thank me for my help and support at key stages of both their career and businesses have suddenly taken an anti-EU position that would stop others, like me, to help many, like them, in the future. Moreover, they have made sure that I knew about it.
I have heard how the same collective of people I have dedicated so many years of my life to help provide affordable housing for, accuse Europeans (like me) of taking away their homes , damaging their economy and quality of life. And in the streets, I have seen the repressed aggression (often mistaken with empowerment) that those who have felt forgotten by the system for such a long time feel.
I will not argue that Europe doesn’t need a new set of rules that are inclusive and accommodate the wealth of regional heritages that each one of it’s states, not just Britain, has. How could I? Europeans are currently a patchwork connected through very fragile threads in need of repair. Clashes in every country speak of a the need for a serious effort to rebuild European consensus.
What I feel compelled to speak about is the need to focus on what is important : Legacy. This is, our duty to create a fairer society with as many opportunities as possible for the next generation. After all, those whose future will be most affected by the outcome of the referendum cannot even vote and it is voters’ duty to remember them.
- The European educational system still allows British students to attend university for relatively low fees.
- Europe respects & values vocational training and still has rules that place people ahead of business interests.
- The open market of Europe, combined with the pro-business British culture allow entrepreneurs to shape their destiny
- A diverse forum like Europe increases competition but also sharpens us.
- While UK manages to address the skills gap within construction, it is European hands that are building the homes that Britain desperately need
Whether we like it or not we live in a global world where we enjoy more rights that we ever did and the European alliance is at the heart of it as it has been from the start of that freedom that emerged from the peaceful times that followed WW2.
As much as history shows us reactionary nationalisms to be a response to the threat of a loss of identity and fear, I doubt that the idea of living in a world full of anger and violence is anyone’s ideal of perfect living.
By the time the referendum comes tomorrow, I will have been proactively contributing to this country, as a taxpayer and volunteer for 17 years and 9 months. I will , however, not have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
This, to me, goes against the spirit of the country I chose to build. It is neither fair nor reasonable and unfortunately, I am not alone it is 3 million of us that have been ignored .
I am not here to complain, only to ask every British voter to: Make the vote you have count. ”
Article originally published in my Womenalia blog “Fronteras Invisibles” on the 22nd of June 2016