Yet another book for the ‘Academic work’ category! I have my exam on Thursday and this was one of the required readings. It is a seen exam so I’m free to choose what questions I want to answer, and Brexit seemed like a good idea, although politics really isn’t my platform.
Now, I’m no native Brit, so for me, Brexit was more ‘Oh, UK is talking about leaving the EU’. I didn’t think they would actually do it, and I didn’t understand the politics surrounding it, but it didn’t seem likely that they would vote ‘Leave’. I woke up that morning and 80% of the Norweigan newspapers had it in print; UK was leaving the EU. Brexit was a fact. Norway has had EU elections as well, but we’ve stayed on the outside. However, we are a part of the EEA, which isn’t the same, but I think it has something to do with trade and other economic relationships among the EU countries and the EEA countries.
This report is sometimes challenging to read. The language can become too political at times for the normal bloke on the street, however, the topics are relatable for most of us. This report looks at topics like migration, racism (these two leading and causing more xenophobia), class, and economy in relation to how Britain has been, is, and may possibly become in the future now that Brexit is a fact. What I was most shocked to read was how violence against minorities spiked after the vote was held. Were we really this racist in 2016? Are we still this racist in 2018? By the writing in this report, we can safely (and sadly) say that we are. Some of the writers suggest that maybe the history of imperialism is stronger in the British people that they like to admit? For the British people’s sake, I hope the situations aren’t as gloomy as this report sometimes seem to suggest.
Xenophobia has been claimed to be one of the main reasons for Brexit. Migration isn’t all bad in my opinion. We (as in every country everywhere) need a proper system to integrate them into society. This is a very difficult task, for every part it seems, but what if this migrant(s) who is brought into the country can create and develop something amazing that improves society? I understand that this an extremely naive take on the problem and again I believe that is rooted in my lack of knowledge, but these migrants are still humans! Some are running away from persecution, some from war, and some because they simply want to create a better life for themselves and they don’t have that chance in their own country. This is a big topic in Norway as well, and I don’t we can claim any star position on this issue either.
A few of the chapters, it’s 14 of them in all, takes a broader look at the Brexit perspective. One takes the view from a German point of view, while the one that intrigued me most was the story of a woman who was in Britain on a Spouse Visa. Her husband beat her and made her a slave in his own home. Her in-laws treated her badly as well. During her stay, she had never been taught proper English and this made it difficult for her to function in a country that wasn’t natively her own. When she and her little daughter finally managed to escape her visa had expired and hence her status as a migrant was unsure. She tried the police, and they didn’t seem to be able to help, but in the end, she was able to get help. The chapter raises this story because, from what I understood, leaving EU would make such situations even more difficult for migrants. Who would want a woman, or a man, with a story like this suffer even more?
All in all, it is a good report to read if you want to get more insight into Brexit. Although sometimes challenging it is very possible to read! The language is sometimes difficult, but Google is your friend in those instances. I’m glad I’ve read it all and I feel like I’ve got a better understanding of Brexit!
– The Book Reader