The B Question

by Mila Rathenböck, Nosing Around correspondent London

“You are effectively destroying my country, my home, your home, and yet you won’t believe it!”, the younger brother shouts at his older brother over dinner, both wearing a dressing gown and slippers. He is a strong “remainer”, and his brother is very fond of Brexit, a No-Deal even. “You can always negotiate after having left”, the older brother says, trying to calm the situation down. Me and the parents remain quiet, eating our fish fingers and beans, not wanting to get involved in the heated argument.

Brexit. It either unites or divides. When I came here I found myself in a family of many different opinions, and political views that part very distinctively. Emotions rise every now and then, and strong words are thrown against each other’s heads. The Scotland debate is a big one in this house, as the grandfather is Scottish and Brexit would tremendously increase the chances of Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom, but then – the older brother reminds us – there is economy and immigration.

“What, educated people from the EU coming to work and live in this country is bad?”, the younger brother says. “Look at Mila, she’s becoming a doctor!” “Yeah, look at me, I’m becoming a doctor!” I say to wind my other host brother up. He laughs it off and offers tea to everyone. We all agree and start sipping away. Discussion postponed until dinner time the next day.

Over the course of the past 6 weeks I have experienced the Brexit uncertainty first-hand. It’s all very fast-paced, with new, deal-breaking events happening daily. It’s an everyday dinner table topic, with opinions ranging from A to Z. Patriotism meets fear of the unknown, democracy meets common sense. Down the road people have signs hanging out of their windows claiming to have voted Remain from the first day onwards, when three houses next to them they have “Brexit means Brexit” posters displayed in their driveway.

Personally? I try to stay out of it. I see and listen to both sides, and am shaking my head at how much money all of this mess has already cost and still costs every single UK citizen every day. It has become entertainment, whoever shouts the loudest wins. But whatever happens – Brexit or no Brexit, Deal or No-Deal – it’s a fact that when all of this will eventually be over it will have gone very quiet around Britain’s dinner tables.

Mila Rathenböck studies medicine and runs her own YouTube channel.

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