The heartfelt letter of a young man in a country that has disintegrated in the name of sovereignty to the people of a Europe united in diversity.

To the honourable people of Europe and their representatives,

It comes with truly intense sorrow that I write to give my deepest apologies on behalf of my country and its people. Our participation in the European project has been drawn to a close by a protracted movement of political antagonism. I speak not just for the millions of people in the UK, but for myself and my relentless belief in community and diversity.

Some would class this letter as arrogant or foolhardy, to claim a leadership role on behalf of a divided nation. Though after three or more years of political division, our nation is set to exit the European Union – and with the most devastating possible outcome.

The history of the European community was born from the ashes of total war and a devastated continental landscape. Historical interpretation paints the picture of a Europe that emerged happy and triumphant after the Second World War, though the truth was much bleaker. Political community originating in the Benelux would soon prove to be a guiding principle for hope and prosperity in the future. As this community grew into an established constitutional body, my country’s involvement grew alongside its critics. There is no doubt that the EU and its predecessor is, and always was, a positive thing for the UK. And as we leave on harrowing realities, the UK is wilfully ignorant to those successes.

For the benefits of European partnership were obvious to many: representation, economic prosperity, science and culture etc. But for a vocal minority of political actors and influencers, the EU represents a threat to their close-minded vision of nationality and sovereignty. Some present the EU as a lock on our door to a global trade policy, which has been proven to be exaggerated for ideological influences. A smaller cadre of political actors use the EU as a scapegoat for racism, xenophobia, and virulent nationalism.

Our societies are threatened by a far-right populism wishing to regress to fictional pasts and promote hatred and intolerance through violence and disorder. In the UK, the ‘Yellow Vests’ have aggressively protested in city centres, and harassed individuals and groups with whom they see rivalry. Europe is in a worrying period of agitation, which our own politicians have contributed to.

The principle method of this damaging social movement is the creation and spreading of lies. To see such blatant falsehoods eagerly spouted by government ministers and protestors alike, is a symptom of deep obsession to leave the EU. Our Parliament is an old and outdated institution that has survived centuries of war and peace. But to see a government and its official oppositional force both fall into a wayward display of ignorance and intolerance, is truly depressing.

I hold no political party membership, nor do I see myself subscribing in the near future. A legislative body is designed to represent the concerns of its people and protect them from undue harm. The majority in our Parliament are ignoring their people and working to allow the nation to suffer severe damage in the name of Brexit.

I voted Remain. I would vote Remain a thousand times if it would alter our course. Millions voted in 2016 for both sides, and the slim majority chose to Leave. For nearly two years, our politicians have been parroting the same soundbites: “The people voted, we must respect the will of the people.” But apparently unknown to Westminster, many have changed their minds or realised the effects of that vote. In a democracy, a person can change their mind. A person is entitled to vote differently.

But regardless of that damaging referendum, our route now leads us away from the EU. Many will claim it was the Europeans’ fault for a botched Brexit. They will say it was stubborn and conceited to let us go through such disruption. I say this with all the political passion I have: Brexit was the fault of British intolerance – not Europe, nor any of its guiding principles, or its diplomatic efforts to support our transition. There is a strong and vibrant movement of people in this nation whose flagpoles still fly the yellow stars on a field of blue. I marched through London last October surrounded by a diverse and beautiful mass of people, marching to end Brexit and its pathetic intent.

Our politics has been corrupted by a desire to wilfully mislead its citizens. I am ashamed to be part of that nation. A nation which marches to uncertainty led by selfish politicians. A nation which is divided and unstable due to a six-letter word: Brexit.

To my European friends and allies of all nations, I give my solemn apologies. I am young and motivated by education, diversity, and international cooperation – which my country has disintegrated in the name of sovereignty.

We are united in diversity, and I will Remain.🔷

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(This is an original piece, first published by the author in | The author writes in a personal capacity.)

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(Cover: Flickr/David Holt - People’s Vote March, London. | 23 June 2018. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)