As we near the end of what seems to have been the longest game ever of deal or no deal I am going to review a bad word in this post, BREXIT!! This however will not be a political post..
Now regardless of your views on leave, remain, neutral (do they exist?) there are going to be changes and uncertainty from when I was growing up and that concerns me a parent, it concerns me greatly.
1, Education, what will our education system be like for our future generations? I know I benefitted from going to school with a diverse range of people from different cultural backgrounds. This added value to me as a human being and taught me to cherish diversity and welcome it. Already it is plain to see that within the UK there are huge splits to the right and left never mind how other cultures will fit into this sorry mess. What example does this set our children never mind how much will they lose if immigration controls mean less diversity in schools? From a NI perspective this becomes magnified even further with integrated education now seeming a “nice to do” rather than a necessity which it must be to help break the cycle of division we have endured for far too long.
2, Travel, I benefitted from travelling widely in years gone by. Moving without barrier from country to country, hell I even benefited from having access to 2 passports due to the Good Friday agreement in NI! But what will the future look like? Will my children be able to broaden their horizons with such ease? Will they have to pay more for visas etc..? Wait in long lines specifically for UK citizens? Of course in NI we can benefit from getting an Irish passport if we choose to, hence remain an EU citizen (if that’s such a thing).
3, Costs, Of there is much scaremongering and hype around what financial impact there will be in the future either way but it would be foolish to ignore it. At the minute my view is that people go to work to help save for a house, have a family etc.. But again what does that look like in the future? What if the cost of living sky rockets and our children become a generation of renters? Equally though the cost could drop in which case happy days!
4, Civil stability, I think it would be folly to ignore the potential here on our future generations. As we witness more protests (which are disturbingly militant) in Paris and Brussels around immigration and the cost of living it concerns me that my children are forming an image of those places far distant from the view I had when younger. Now when we look more closely to home and particularly NI the fear is real for me. Brexit has polarised communities more than I have seen since the worst days of the troubles with talk of a border poll and a hard border entrenching views on both sides respectively. If almost half of the community are unhappy with the end result, either a hard border or united Ireland, the other slightly smaller half are not very likely to roll over and say “oh well that’s the majority then let’s do it.” The likelihood is that they will go back to type and we will see some degree of political or civil unrest. I think our history will verify what I am saying. I grew up with this and I most definitely don’t ever want to go back there with my children.
5, Succession and sustainability, What if in the worst case based on all of the uncertainty above our children think they want a better, a more certain life for themselves and move on to countries new. They may never come back to live, what happens then?
So to the powers that be I ask you to think of our future generations and whether its deal or no deal I don’t really care so long as you think of the children!