No, "Brexit Britain" isn't perfect—but neither is the Netherlands. Our task is to foster an inclusive dialogue, not turn our backsby Justa M Hopma / October 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
In a recent piece in Prospect, Joris Luyendijk reflects on his personal experiences before and during the unfolding saga that is Brexit. Having spent considerable time in the London, Britain’s cosmopolitan capital, Luyendijk uses his experiences to draw conclusions about English culture and society. He is very to the point in highlighting what he views as some of England’s social ills: he concludes that the English are ignorant of the EU, the English do not understand compromise, England is not a serious country and that middle-class Englanders need to straighten themselves out.
Like Luyendijk, I am a Dutch national and came to Britain considerable time ago. Similar, again. to Luyendijk, I found the events of Brexit—which prompted me to ask some serious questions about the various dimensions of my identity—upsetting. Unlike Luyendijk, however, I do not think that ‘England’ needs to be given alone-time so as to “sort itself out.” Instead, we need a far more nuanced and contextualised understanding of the events that led to Brexit—rather than a smug and self-righteous turning of backs.