Brexit is a cypher for broken Britain; for general ignorance about the polity; for class politics and grand scale larceny of human rights, of opportunity to innovate together, of freedom of movement.
Brexit is Britain’s Berlin wall – the treacherous face of emasculating dissent, bullying and muzzling women, and denying evidence and reason.
Women will bear the brunt of Brexit. They understand it in ways most men do not. The weasel words of ‘security of trade and employment’ equates to an odds-on certainty of being ever poorer. British (and especially women’s) pensions are among the very lowest in the EU – 29% of earnings compared to over 50% in most comparable EU27 states. Women aren’t interested in any deal that leaves them and their offspring worse off. They want what they have in the EU. They want to stay. But their voice is muzzled by male MPs who disproportionately dominate Brexit ‘discourse’.
Brexit is tangible: in the shopping trolley and on the table. The fall in sterling’s value, smaller packaging and sugar taxes can’t hide the shameful fact that 18% of women struggle to feed their families. 90% of single parents are women, often part-time workers about to lose EU employment protection. Women know that trade with the EU makes green mile sense. They know that sneakily dumping the Charter of Fundamental Rights, along with maternity and paternity rights, social welfare, food standards, environmental and employment protection, steals their families’ right to tolerance, mutual respect for diversity, non-discrimination, rights of children, decency and democracy
Brexit is full-on shame when they see health workers, their families, friends and children being torn apart by a spiteful disregard for being part of a mixed-nationality family or community, taking for granted the joys of travelling, living, working, loving and playing in a borderless Europe. The neglect of Northern Ireland and the peace the EU helped and cement is mind-blowing in its idiocy.
Brexit is an aspiration not a fact. An aspiration to strip us all of everything that our friends on the continent will continue to experience: the joy of discovery together.
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