Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for January 1st, 2020

Brexit Is Like a Bereavement

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 1st January, 2020

811E1755-3E16-49AA-83F7-84DD6BFB3051The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called on Britons to heal their divisions as we enter the New Year. This exhortation is, I suppose, a little more sensitive than those people who have been saying ad nauseam, “You lost. Get over it!” But the Archbishop’s choice of words does not seem to acknowledge the fact that for many Remainers (who in 2016 were 48% of those who voted in the Referendum), Brexit is like a bereavement. We are witnessing something we cherish — our European citizenship and countless other benefits of EU membership — not just dying but being deliberately killed. This is not something one can just “get over” by pulling oneself together. The pain — and it is a form of mental pain for millions of British citizens, as well as for the estimated three million other EU citizens in this country — will not dissipate quickly. Indeed, for a while it may get worse, as one by one our European rights and benefits are stripped away, from freedom of movement to reciprocal free health care, from high common health and safety standards to directly elected representation in the European Parliament. I for one am in mourning for what we are about to lose and those who do not care a fig about such matters, or who espouse some new-imperialist fantasy of a “Global Britain” conquering the waves, need to understand that for many true British Europeans, Brexit is as traumatic as losing a member of one’s own family.

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