There it is. Gone. The UK has voted to Leave the EU. I’m trying to establish why this has come as such a shock to me, but my knowledge of the campaign was based on social media. Everyone I know or follow was voting Remain, but that was mainly because my friends know what it means to have the capacity to encapsulate a nationality that is both British and European. Just as I consider myself Irish and European.
The EU as a concept is a beautiful thing. In practice, anyone who has had dealings with it knows that it has become bogged down with bureaucracy, but amidst this blindness, its heart is in the right place. The solution is not to throw it away but to improve it, which is easier said than done.
Where do we go from here? Since Article 50 was drafted, the possibility of a Member State leaving was acknowledged. The EU will function and hopefully take positive steps. The UK is another matter. My friends and family there are waking up to a new uncertain world, and not a proud one. The so-called Empire will not strike back this time, it will realise that the call was actually coming from inside the house (yes, I’m mixing my film metaphors).
As for me, I’m going to try to go to sleep in my hostel bed in Toronto, despite the temptation to inhale all political postmortems. Long live the European Union. It deserves more than this.