Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last reflections before 2018

I am utterly dreading 2018. I wish there was some huge rock I could crawl under and hide for a year or even two. I can't understate the level of horror this new year fills me with.

Before us lies the biggest decision of our life, and also of our children's lives, and it is not something we can influence in any way. Over the next few months it will become clear whether we get to continue with the life we have built up here, in a house that is already 65% paid off, where the third of our kids is already in high school, where my two oldest have already reached university (yes, I know Charlotte hasn't started yet, but with 6 A Highers, I doubt she'll be getting straight rejections from UCAS this spring). I get to find out if my my husband can continue working as a consultant in areas of linguistics where he has built up a wealth of knowledge and a name for himself in Scotland. We get to find out if our company, which has been running for nine years, will make it to ten...

I am the problem, not the other six. The other six are free to come and go as they please across Europe, they will still be EU citizens at the end of 2019; I am the only one who has had their freedom to move voted away and so it is my clock that is ticking. If we want to stay together as a family and give the kids a future in a country that isn't considering skidding off the economic rails, I have to get out by March 2019 unless things take a dramatic turn for the better.

I stupidly assumed it would have been clear by now and the government's intentions would be obvious, but a more clueless government, I have not seen in my lifetime. As recently as last month May's government signed up to not creating a border in Ireland, not creating a border in the Irish sea while emphasising that they would indeed leave the internal market and customs union. I don't know if they are incompetent or just downright liars but the first two promises make the third and fourth impossible.

So as we move towards midnight, I won't find leaving 2017 behind particularly difficult. Every day we have woken up in the stressful limbo that only those of us in a mixed EU/UK marriage know. We don't think about Brexit on bad days, or when something big is in the headlines; we have lived and breathed it every minute of every tiring day since June 2016 and we are desperate to take back some control of our lives, rather than leaving everything to the whims of the right-wing press and the most incompetent Tory government every to head up Westminster.

Sadly, I can't say I have any faith that 2018 will be any better but at least at the end of next year I may have more of a clue about where our futures lie and whether my family gets to stay together or is forced apart in the short term at least.

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