viernes, 24 de junio de 2016

Brexit: "The winter is coming" (english version)

As I write these lines, I hear on the radio as the United Kingdom has approved in a referendum leave the European Union. I recognize my surprise. I really thought the majority feeling of the British was different. 
They are difficult to foresee the consequences of this decision in the political and the economic. It is possible that, ultimately, through their integration into the European Economic Area, effects are minimized. But it can also cause a reaction chain with unforeseeable consequences. 
For me, anyway, it does have an emotional component. The United Kingdom is the European country that I have been visited most times along my life.
The first time I visited the UK - In the early 80s- was a summer to go to a work camp in a small village on the outskirts of Durham to look after and entertain the children of unemployed workers. Spain had not yet entered into the then “European Economic Community” and the United Kingdom was troubled by policies of Thatcher, the closing of coal mines and unemployment. The work camp we were boys and girls from all parts of Europe. We enjoy a lot. They were times of pro-European euphoria and despite the difficulties that crossed; the families of those children received us so fantastic and endearing, inviting us to their modest and typical backyard English homes. I also had the opportunity to meet a London that compared with that somewhat parochial Madrid, I felt like a metropolis multicultural and magnificent - although somewhat dirty - that left me with a strong impression.
Since that time, I have returned many times, enjoying seasons in London, Edinburgh, and for a couple of summers, in Lincoln, where travelled the Midlands and where I benefit from the hospitality and friendship of my hosts. Then I started to sense the existence of a different social structure of metropolitan areas like London to the small towns of the interior of England and, only by accepting the existence of these two different realities, the result of yesterday can be understood. I also went to witness how the crisis of 2008 and 2009 affected these last regions, leading to processes of migration, mainly to the countries of the Commonwealth, and not so much towards Europe.
But now, I see on television people whom yesterday has massively attended vote and I admit that I feel sadness. Those days in England were linked to important events in my life that generated a personal link with the British, reinforced by a subconscious sense of belonging to a common political entity, Europe. In some sense, I feel England as a place with which I am identified and this rupture finds it me strange, frustrating and I can’t do anything about. Some believed that the European Union could become a political reality that is beneficial for all and that all we would feel at ease and now it turns out that that is not true.
Nevertheless, I remember with great pleasure to the people I met and tried to on those trips. I wish them the best in the new stage that started and I hope that this change in the status of United Kingdom does not affect the possibility to be able to continue to enjoy of my stays there in the future.
Anyway, if we continue down this path in Europe, we could begin to say “winter is coming”. You know…

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