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Person 2713

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Member since: Thu May 7, 2015, 10:37 PM
Number of posts: 3,263

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Family rifts over Brexit: ‘I can barely look at my parents’

From speaking to young people up and down the country, many of whom are now embroiled in rifts with the closest members of their families, it becomes clear that their reactions to the result are not just matters of political principle, but come from a place of profound grief and betrayal. It sounds dramatic but, for many, the heartbreak is total, because of the futures so many feel they have lost. One person I speak to, from west Wales, has spent their entire adult life studying or working on an EU-funded programme across several European countries, and is furious that despite this their mother didn’t even bother to vote. Another, who speaks two EU languages, is working on a third, and dreams of living abroad, is furious. “Now, because of petty quibbles with EU practice, my parents have voted away my right to live and work in nearly 30 countries,” she says. “Everything I’ve studied for, for as long as I can remember, has been thrown away over false constructs of sovereignty and lies about immigration.

“I am presumably one of the citizens who leave voters thought they were winning the country back for. I don’t want their toxic, pathetic little country, it is not mine. If I had anywhere else to go I would burn my passport.”

“We’re graduates, starting our careers and beginning postgraduate studies. We’re newlyweds and nearlyweds, looking for our first homes and who will be starting families in the next 10 years. But when our mum voted, she chose to ignore that, driven by her hate for foreigners, rather than love for her own children. She’s sacrificed a lot in life to give us the best chances but now, with one little cross in a box, she’s undone all the good she did for us. I just don’t understand why she didn’t listen to her children before she voted.”

The other turn:
"Mum says we all make bad choices, she voted for Thatcher in ’79, and she forgives me"
Not all young people voted to remain, of course. Emily, 26, voted leave, while her mum, dad and grandad all voted remain. “My mum hung up the phone on me when she found out my younger sister and I had voted leave. Dad said he was devastated at the result, and my granddad, a second world war veteran, initially told me he was worried for a future he wouldn’t see.” Her younger sister, who is a student, also voted leave.
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