I woke up to find my country is no longer the same. Northern Ireland, its fragile peace and its frail economy kept afloat by generous EU subsidies and an open border with the Irish Republic, is now basically unsustainable. I used to jog half an hour down the road and be in another country and yet it didn’t matter. We were all vaguely European.
I love the UK, even as an Irishman. Within the EU I felt able to juggle the strange demands of differing identity and felt free. It allowed me to feel like my horizons extended across an entire continent of interesting people (and attractive girls).
I went to university in Scotland, a country persuaded during its own independence movement that the only way to remain in the EU was to stay in the UK; and it has now been forced out against its collective will.
All the ladders and rungs which I have used to pull myself up in life have been drawn up behind me, first by the Coalition government and the imposition of university fees and austerity policies shriveling the social safety net which allowed human beings to be human beings in even the worst of times.
Then the Conservative government of David Cameron robbed future generations of any hope of escape to the continent. I greatly benefitted from the free education and generous grants provided to EU nationals by the French government and by Sciences Po, my Paris cool school where I went to as an economic migrant in search of an education I could never have afforded within the UK as it is.
I am pretty distraught, the state has been hollowed out and we head now towards an American-style sink-or-swim society. This has all been fueled by English nationalism. Historically they gave up their identity to become British, as they reclaim it I can only see the United Kingdom unravel. Fair enough, but I just hope that new identity isn’t one of narrow vision.
This sounds self-centred and it is but someone from my background will never again have the same opportunities that I have had. A door has closed and it will be a long time before it opens again.
Fuck you David and especially fuck you Nigel, there were three shots fired in this horrendous mess.
Kieran Pradeep is an economic migrant in Paris, like many of the best (Northern) Irish people before him. He was once a student of Oakgrove Integrated College, Londonderry. He only wants to talk about climate change, politics and culture.
Follow him on Twitter.
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