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‘Our country is in disarray’

The deed has finally been done. As of 31 January, at 11pm, the UK formally left the EU, something I think many people, including myself, never thought would happen. Three years of politicians squabbling like children is yet to be over and has yet to have any political effect. We are now entering the ‘transition period’ – yes, it is not over yet – which is due to be over by 31 December, the UK and EU will use the next 11 months to negotiate a new relationship. Few on the EU side believe that is long enough, including EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, however Boris Johnson has vowed to do so. In my opinion I do not think we should hold any weight to his words. Negotiations have already been going on for three years, what makes them think another 11 months will be sufficient? 

The world watches and judges our ‘decision’. A decision not only based on lies, including the ominous £350mil to the NHS bus which influenced many in their decision, but also a lie representative of only 52% of the population. Oh, how stupid they were. 

Insanely, Johnson seems to be trying to negotiate a deal which encompasses all the privileges we already had as EU members. The British government hates change and will mask a populist decision as something good for the country, right until it destroys us. It’s like a child continuously throwing out its dummy, they know they shouldn’t be doing it, but they’re going to bloody carry on anyway.  

A free trade agreement allows goods to move around the EU without checks or extra charges. If a new agreement cannot be found in time, then the UK faces the reality of having to trade with no deal in place. That would mean tariffs on UK goods travelling to the EU and other trade barriers which would affect our economy substantially, and this is why we can’t have nice things. 

However, what worries me most is the reality of life for non-British citizens living in the UK, but honestly, with what I’ve seen of the British public in terms of tolerance of race, I didn’t expect anything less. Norwich has recently reached global news regarding a racist poster put in the Winchester Tower of Jenny Lind. The ‘Happy Brexit Day’ poster said those unwilling to speak English should leave the UK. The text read: “You won’t have long till our government will implement rules that will put British first. So, best evolve or leave. God Save the Queen, her government and all true patriots.” The scumbag has not been identified and my walking route to work has most definitely changed.

Worryingly, this racism is not exclusive to this incident. Research manager for Opinium, Priya Minhas, reported 71% of people from ethnic minorities now report racial discrimination, compared with just over half (58%) before the EU vote. The proportion of people from an ethnic minority who said they had been targeted by a stranger rose from 64% in January 2016 to 76% in February 2019. 

To all who may be affected by these statistics, I stand with you, and I openly stand against a group of elitist snobs who think they can ruin my country and the far-right in the UK who want to white-wash Britain.

As the future of our country lies in Mr Johnson’s hands, the concerning prospect of rising racism, taxed trades and anxiety-inducing agreements is on the horizon. Our country is in disarray right now, but the future seems far more displeasing.

11/02/2020

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Emily Webb