On Friday morning, I was given notice that my EU citizenship will be taken away.
The house in the sun – the one that I planned to retire to – is no longer for sale. My 2-year-old son will no longer be allowed to move freely through the EU when he grows up, as I was fortunate enough to do in my 20s.
The house that I am sitting in will lose 18% of its value. The food in my kitchen will cost 10% more. My country’s economy was 5th in the world; it is now 6th. And we have yet to see how far it will sink tomorrow.
The Scottish friends I have will now build a border between us. My friends in Ireland face a return to violence and conflict. (I saw terrorist violence in the UK when I was a child. It terrified me then, as it terrifies me now.)
Bitter? Angry? Resentful? You bet.
And do you know why this has happened?
Because two men plotted to shoehorn the Prime Minister out of office. They expected that they would lose a referendum, and gain power themselves, by stirring up a dissatisfied minority. They thought this was a brilliant plan. A gamble worth taking. Because – surely – the British public could not be so naive to believe what they said.
Unfortunately, they underestimated how successful they would be.
We have watched them lie, ignite xenophobia, spread hollow patriotism and promise money they will not have. They used desperate refugees as a weapon. They promised minuscule immigration figures that cannot be achieved without forfeiting free trade.
And let’s not forget that an MP was murdered by someone who shouted “freedom for Britain“. A sentiment that is so close to being an official slogan that it brings tears of rage to my eyes.
People tried to warn others what would happen if they won. People shared statistics from economists, world leaders and professors in EU law. And you know what the two men said?
“Don’t trust experts”.
These two idiots won the campaign they didn’t really want to win, by the smallest of margins, via a campaign based on a tissue of lies. We lost science funding. Regional funding. Cultural connections to our neighbours.
And now, people want me to be happy about it, and move on with my life.
The night before the result, all of my friends confirmed they had placed a remain vote. Including one of my best friends, an Australian immigrant. We looked at the bookies’ odds. We were cautiously optimistic. We drank beer and crossed our fingers. We, the people who voted remain, are European. Most of us have had EU citizenship from the day we were born.
People who do not care much about the EU thought the vote was about something else, because they were told nothing bad would happen. These people took away the things we cared so much about. Our right to the future we had planned. Based on a lie. Based on hate. Based on nothing.
And now, do you know why the people who ran Vote Leave are so quiet?
They didn’t want to win. They didn’t expect to. They have no plan. No safety net. No strategy. No idea of what happens tomorrow morning.
So: we have no government. The opposition party is eating itself alive, because vile opportunists have been waiting for this moment for months. No politician wants to trigger Article 50, because they will split our country into three pieces within seconds. Scotland is itching to go. Businesses are pulling out of contracts. Grown men are shouting racist comments at 10-year-olds.
Those two men knew this would happen. But they gambled on it anyway.
And now, people want me to be happy about it. And move on with my life. And “make Britain great again”.
Because we “got our country back”. Apparently.
You know what?
You got your country back. You are welcome to it. By the time this sorry story has played out, there will not be anything left of it for the rest of us.