Nigel Small’s optimistic message to Remainers: even though everything seems pretty hopeless now, don’t give up. It might take five or ten years... we’ll be back.

First published in January 2020.

Remain friends: I know you feel deflated. Everything seems pretty hopeless, but don’t give up. We now have five years to get it together. Because we’ll be back. Maybe not in 2025, or 2030. But our children will, and we need to prepare.

Here are 10 things to keep doing...

1. Fly the Flag of Europe.

This is a symbol of our unity, and it is still our flag. Wear it on a T-shirt. Print it on a mug. Carry it on a bag. Let everyone see it. Show it proudly. And remind everyone who we are and where we belong.

Flickr - Rock Cohen

2. Teach your children about history, geography and politics.

Teach them critical thinking. Show them how to tell fact from fiction, how to argue their case, and how to stand up for their beliefs. Show them the world and all its variety. Don’t let them miss out on the world.

Flickr - Gerd Leonhard

3. Learn a language.

It doesn’t matter what. Maybe French, German or Italian. Maybe Finnish, Catalan or Welsh. Learn the culture. Try the food. Meet the people. There are many online resources to help you, and Britain is a long way behind the rest of the world in language.


4. Visit corners of the UK.

There are wonderful people and places all around us. Go somewhere local that you’ve never been before. Go down a road you’ve never taken. Meet Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish, Cornish, Brummies, Geordies, Scousers and Londoners. Show them your friendship.

Strumble Head Lighthouse, Pembrokeshire, Wales. / Flickr - Phil Dolby

5. Plant a tree.

We need to start rebuilding and renewing our shattered environment. Take your bike instead of the car whenever you can. Cut down on meat. It’s easy to do, even if just one day a week. Your children will thank you.


6. Stand up to bullies.

Fight racism and xenophobia wherever and whenever you see it. Be inclusive, caring and thoughtful. Let everyone know that we are all the same, regardless of our place of birth, our language or the colour of our skin.


7. Build bridges between progressive groups, locally and nationally.

The only way to bring sanity and decency back into our lives is for the sane and decent people to work together. Support proportional representation and make sure everyone has a voice.

Flickr - Rob Brewer

8. Read.

Read a magazine or a book. Read a blog or a page on Wikipedia. Learn something new every day. Share your favourites with others and let them share theirs with you. The more you read, the broader your outlook will be.


9. Write.

A little, or a lot. Write about how you feel, what you have done, who you know, or just what you think. Share yourself as widely as possible, and let everyone see who you are and what you stand for. Share the writings of others.


10. Finally, keep calm and remain European.

We are European. We always will be European. Be proud of your place in Europe, and let everyone know we’ll be back.

Don’t expect to be calm every minute of every day. Just value those moments when you can be. Because it’s not just you, we’re all feeling it, and we’re all in this together. And we’ll all get through it together.

Tweets posted on 15 January 2020 by @technige.

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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 20 January 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Dreamstime/Nelson Ikheafe. - Steve Bray, ‘Mister Stop Brexit’.)