While I’ve only been in the UK eleven years, give or take, and I’m not eligible to vote in the referendum this week, my livelihood, and that of my husband, depends on being able to travel and work freely within the EU.
Every time we travel to collaborate with different orchestras and choirs, we learn something, not just because we’re working with a mixture of the world’s best musicians, but because being in a different country is just very good for your brain – it stretches it and challenges it and makes you see yourself in a new way.
Another thing that’s worth thinking about: families these days are more complicated and widespread than they were in the past. Being part of the EU means, to use a tiny example, being able to easily travel to see Bojan’s parents, siblings, and nieces. If we leave the EU, suddenly it will be prohibitively difficult to go and see both his family and mine.
Paola Cuffolo has written something very, very intelligent and emotionally lucid about what it means to be a European living in the UK, someone who holds only an EU passport but has always lived here, and has never needed to be anything other than a European to participate in, and be formed by, British culture.
If you value the arts, travel, communication, and curiosity, this post is worth reading, regardless of how you’re going to vote. Please give it five minutes of your time.
So, indulge me for a minute, if you will. Unless you are clinically dead, you will have noticed that in the UK we are about to vote in a referendum about whether or not we should stay in the EU. Well, I say ‘we’. I am personally not eligible to vote: having spent only 27 and a quarter years out of my 28 in this country, rather than going the whole hog of being born here, I am not entitled to an opinion on the matter, but that’s a fascinating argument for another day. Like everyone else, however, I have read countless facts and figures for both sides, but since both sides seem more interested in beating each other than in the actual question, I thought I would throw all those out the window, for the moment. You’ve all read them, so there’s not much point in me re-iterating them…
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