The UK is in a mess right now. You know I like to write about kittens and flowers, but I need to interrupt normal service to talk about Brexit for a while. I shall spare you the politics talk – I’m sure you’ll have had enough of that by now. Instead, here are some practical things you can do to find a path through the madness.
Our current predicament is mostly down to an inability to listen. Before the referendum the establishment underestimated the unhappiness of much of the electorate, and now Theresa May has tied herself up in knots by not listening to anyone. I’m not much better. I’m in favour of remaining in the EU and up until now I’ve not been particularly interested in listening to anyone’s else’s point of view. If this country is going to move on, we’re going to need to start actually listening to each other. We can all make a start on this. Listen to your neighbours and your friends, even if you don’t agree with them. It’s hard, but we need to start opening our minds to compromise.
Support small businesses
The independent shops and market traders in my town are feeling very worried about Brexit. Lots of their goods come from the EU and they feel uncertain about their future. Right now, it’s even more important than ever to support them. While we all wait for Westminster to sort out the mess, there’s a kind of nervous paralysis happening amongst independent businesses. How can you plan for the future when you have no idea what’ll happen after April 12th? But you can help them keep the wheels moving. Get down your local high street and show them your support and keep buying things from small online companies.
Learn a European language
I never used to feel particularly European. Then Brexit happened, and I found myself looking longingly towards the continent more than ever before. When we leave, however it works out, I want to keep my door to Europe firmly open. I never mastered a language at school, and now feels like the perfect time to start. I think French will be most useful, although feel free to correct me. I want to teach my kids how important it is too. Hopefully they’ll be the one rebuilding all those burnt bridges in a few years time.
Keep on signing those petitions
Over 6 million of us signed this petition to revoke article 50. Maybe it didn’t change much at Westminster, but I found it a great comfort nonetheless. Whatever your views, put pen to paper and keep badgering your local MP. If you get a chance to attend a meeting with them, get yourself there and ask some questions. It’s easy to think these steps are achieving nothing, but that’s not true. The House of Commons is utterly divided on Brexit. Even if a petition changes just one MP’s mind, it might be enough to tip the scales a little closer towards some kind of resolution. We’ve got to keep trying.
Build a bunker
If all else fails create your very own Euro bunker in the cupboard under the stairs. Fill it with delicious European wine and enough tinned tomatoes and chickpeas to keep you going for a few months. Shut yourself in there with a boxset of Father Ted and wait for the storm to pass.