I have been putting off writing my next blog post for a while. After the events of June 24th it felt like everyone on my Facebook and Twitter feeds had written, ranted and argued the so-felt imminent economic demise of the country and in all honesty, I did not (and still do not) feel in any position to add anything to this.
On the flip side, it is an event too large to simply skip over in blissful ignorance. The scientific Twitter community is understandably vocal and outraged at the impending UK-EU split and with good reason — there isn’t a lab that I know of that doesn’t contain a mix of students and academics from a variety of countries. A lot of research funding comes as a result of the UK membership and universities welcome many EU students.
Gary Lineker found himself in the firing line last week for speaking out about the situation in Calais (I refuse to call it a jungle, they’re not animals), with responses such as ‘our country is full’ among the least accurate and most polite. You only have to step slightly outside of your own bubble to see how strongly people on both sides feel about Brexit, some talking of the opportunities and the advantage of ‘control’ and others of the uneasiness they feel at the lack of certainty and the prospect of change.
Since the day of the referendum results I have avoided expressing openly any opinions because it always seems to start heated debates with no positive outcome. I changed my mind after a visit to church on Sunday. I was initially apprehensive when the elderly lady taking prayers began to speak about Brexit and Calais. It was wonderful to hear her ask everyone to keep the migrants in their thoughts; it reminded me that actually, not everyone agrees with those who shout the loudest. Maybe we won’t need to leave England after all.