I have struggled to put any words in here since Friday. A darkness and immense sorrow has coated Britain since the referendum made Brexit a reality by 52% voting to leave the EU. The reason for my move here five years ago, and why I’ve remained all these years despite ridiculous rents and moldy flats has been the pride London possess in being inclusive, accepting and diverse. For the first time I feel unwelcome and unwanted in my home. The anger and sadness is indescribable and I am, together with millions, dizzy with disappointment of how the world is regressing to fear and disbelief of a global community in this time of uncertainty, conflict and pain. In the aftermath many are also full of regret as we are not sure of the repercussions of this decision.
I think it is disgusting that the government would allow a decision this large happen before anybody, not even the politicians, know of the consequences or even what the following steps would be. It has divided not only a community and a country, but the world, which is the last thing we need in a time like this.
But this past weekend has also given me hope. I spent it all working at the bar, and the referendum was the sole thing everybody talked about. I had countless grown men in tears over everything that their community here in London stand for and are built on – inclusiveness, diversity, acceptance – to be torn to shreds. And I felt the pride of all those core values expressed in every tiny grain that is London. Despite being enveloped in disbelief we could all still unite. My social channels, news channels and conversations are flooded with strength, integrity and solidarity. Brits have both online and offline expressed their discontent and frustration over this ridiculous process. And they will not have it. Young women organising counter actions and protests as well as officials issuing statements that they refuse to obey to closing their communities.
In these dark times we will not give up hope, not cave in to hopelessness. It is a regretful decision, but I hope this will be the wake up call not only the UK but that the EU and the world needs. And I am sincerely doubtful that a true Brexit will fully happen. Instead I hope that this will fuel our fire to stand up for the society we want, an open and welcome one. I won’t succumb to terror and sorrow, and I know you won’t either.
For all of you who have written asking if it is pointless to even think about moving to London any longer I say to you that no, it is not. Firstly the British government has to make a decision as they have the final say in this. And if they do it will take at least two years to implement the UK leaving the EU and this might still mean free movement for Europeans.