Lincoln Drill Hall

Lincoln Drill Hall
Lincoln Drill Hall

Saturday, 1 February 2020

My sadness on ceasing to be a European citizen

I wake on 1 February 2020, with the same leaden feeling in my gut that I had on that dreadful morning of 24 June 2016.
Last night in Lincoln fireworks lit the sky above one of the city’s poorest estates. I truly hope that those people, who have invested so much hope in leaving the EU, will not be disappointed. For that has been at the heart of this whole debate, a great number of people have missed out on the prosperity the EU brought ; that was wrong. It is also ill conceived to think that unfair allocation can be put right by reducing our national income as a result of losing trade with EU countries.
My relationship with Europe is both deep and personal. I struggled to my French O Level, but, in my twenties as we were joining the EEC, I attended evening classes at L’Institute Francais in South Kensington. I used my hard won language skills as a young auditor with clients in Paris and Nice. I then took my Bar Exams and took European Law as my option. Maggie and I went to Brussels in 1979/1980, on the Price Waterhouse European exchange programme, with Sally as a toddler, visiting Germany, Holland, Luxembourg and France.
The European Union has given the priceless gift of peace since the end of WW2, but so much more.
I am and will always be European.
Graffiti from Moria Refugee camp in Lesvos
Some more thoughts from Ian McEwan

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