There is a real lack of care paid by the brilliant sculptors who dreamt the design of the new fifty pence coin to mark Brexit.
The dazzling lack of compassion and care was thrusted onto the news on Monday, by way of a specially crafted new fifty pence coin to mark Britain’s kicking and screaming departure from the EU. The jokes were bountiful, and British satire had yet another field day over the current no man’s land of Brexit. But there is a real lack of care paid by the brilliant sculptors who dreamt this design choice up.
The coin will be engraved with the words ‘Friendship With All Nations’ as if to evoke some sincere diplomatic message nobly detailed on spare change. The message is a disgrace.
The UK politicians who have facilitated this silage pit of a policy have clearly misplaced their common sense. Britain is leaving the most successful and dynamic political and economic union in history, abandoning democratic legitimacy for the cupboard under the stairs.
Being the reluctant Englishman I am, I decided to assess the international reactions to Brexit from a wide range of countries. My research proved conclusive. The UK is a laughing stock. With Armistice Day so close, it’s apt to evoke the well-oiled phrase ‘Lions led by Donkeys’ for describing negotiations.
However, there’s a stronger cultural message here. On Tuesday, Caroline Nokes admitted through passive-aggressive remarks that the UK immigration policy after March 2019 will require employers to check EU nationals’ right to work in Britain. The committee meeting revealed how unforgiving the Government’s position on EU citizens will be.
(Note from the Editor: the Home Office has since u-turned on Nokes declaration, stating that: “employers will not be expected to differentiate between resident EU citizens and those arriving after exit.”)
Theresa May has insisted that she wants EU citizens to stay and work in this country. But then her own words betray her by also doubling down on stopping freedom of movement. For any EU citizen living in the UK, this is a stressful and potentially life-changing time.
There’s little doubt that the Conservatives under Theresa May have explicit anti-immigration principles. They may dance up their belief in a highly skilled workforce representing the best of Britain, but that’s Grade-A misinformation. We’ve already learned that the Conservatives have developed a ‘hostile environment’ for both migrants and people of any other nationality.
The Windrush scandal performs as a marker of how fanatical and obtuse that policy has been implemented. Theresa May’s Conservatives have prospered on their obsession with controlling immigration. It’s no surprise that many EU citizens are leaving, and as reported today, many are applying for Irish passports to leave this sorry island.
I have followed the 3 Million campaign, as well as Tanja Bueltmann’s EU Citizens’ Champion campaign with a mixture of anger and sheer disbelief that these campaigns are needed to promote people’s lives. How can any government fail to represent such a large population of hard-working people?
When I walked down Park Lane surrounded by the flags of so many countries, I was sincerely affected by the emotion of the event. News media fails to portray this emphatic and desperate passion that accompanies the People’s Vote.
Everyone is always incredibly concerned about GDP and the value of pound, which are important of course. But at the central point of this whole crisis is the potentially shattering effect Brexit will have on EU and non-EU citizens.
At the People’s Vote march, I walked slowly next to an older couple from Gloucestershire. We spoke about the crowds and our reasons for attending. The lady, who was in a wheelchair emblazoned with EU regalia, told me of her daughter who worked for the EU shortly after the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. After two years of work she was diagnosed with leukaemia and died suddenly three months later. The older couple both were sincerely grateful to the offices of the European project, as well as the local healthcare in Belgium. Though I do not remember the lady’s name, I shall never forget her saying why she marched. “Europe gave my daughter a wonderful home and healthcare before she died. It’s only right that I return the favour.”
As you can imagine, after I was left alone walking further towards Trafalgar Square I looked at the flags once more and failed to hold the tears. What a beautiful dedication. It’s those personal stories that the media never pick up on.
Brexit really does threaten the lives of every single person in this country. We might be poorer, less able to access certain products and food. But there are 3.6 million people who are threatened by much more than the price of bread and milk. We deserve it to ensure that no-one is ignored, and everybody matters.🔷
For more information about the brilliant campaigns helping to raise awareness of this crucial issue, please follow @The3Million and @eucitizenschamp on Twitter. There is also the equally vital @BritishInEurope campaign which works to promote the threatened rights of UK citizens living in the EU.
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(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)