I don’t know about you, but as a Brit in Berlin (by the same questionable Brexit etymology, a Brerliner?) I spent my first two days post-Brexit comatose in bed with what felt a lot like depression. The one thing I and every other British person abroad I know seemed to share during the immediate aftermath of Brexit was spending inordinate amounts of time online, gobbling up article after article.
I’ve probably read more about Britain’s position in Europe in the past few weeks than I had over my previous twenty-eight years on this planet. Things haven’t got better, but at least with a little time post the referendum, we’ve won one valuable thing: perspective. So, without further ado, I present to you the fruits of my laptop purgatory: a comprehensive overview of Brexit – articles that cover the Brexit bases statistically, politically and emotionally.
WHAT’S BREXIT, AGAIN?
TOMORROW: Episode 59: Felix Salmon Explains The Brexit: Maybe, for whatever reason, you don’t have all the facts on hand. No judgement. OK, OK, only the tiniest bit of judgement, because obviously. This overview is kind of fun because presenter Joshua Topolsky’s authoritative tone contrasts with his extremely tenuous grasp of UK politics. Luckily British finance journalist Felix Salmon is on hand to clear up the facts, giving a comprehensive account of the political background surrounding Brexit, where the word came from, etc. Could be a little too introductory for Brits who should already know most of this, but informative and entertaining for those who aren’t familiar with the finer points of the last few years of British politics.
I’M A UK CITIZEN LIVING IN GERMANY. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
‘After Brexit: Immigration Basics For UK Nationals In Germany’ (Silicon Allee): Ugh, hi. Probably the most frustrating thing about Brexit has been how vague the options are for UK nationals living abroad in Europe. Tia Hardy Robinson from Expath has secured her place in heaven by writing what appears to be the only clear, no-nonsense outline of what choices we have. Check out the comments section for further useful questions and answers.
HAHA, THE UNITED KINGDOM IS RIDICULOUS. YOU GUYS ARE F**KING IDIOTS. WANT TO HEAR MY BREXIT JOKE? IT KILLED ON TWITTER.
‘Brits Living In The EU Respond To Brexit’ (Broadly): Having been on the receiving end of several weird, shruggy reactions from non-Europeans about the referendum over the past two weeks, I think it’s important that you guys get this: we feel terrible. We have immense emotional hangovers. This feels like the end of the world. Using someone else’s crushing political situation as an opportunity to show off how cynical and immensely chill you can be about politics – politics that don’t directly affect you – is the worst.
Berlin-based journalist Josie Thaddeus Johns wrote a smart, sad article for Broadly pinpointing exactly why Brexit is so painful and unexpected for young Brits, complete with interviews with a number of Brits living in Berlin and Europe gauging the emotional reaction to Brexit.
WHO’S REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR BREXIT? I WANT TO SEE THE STATISTICS.
‘EU Referendum: Full Results And Analysis’ (The Guardian): A wonderfully detailed breakdown of the referendum results by area.
‘Brexit: Everything You Wanted To Know About Turnout By Age At The EU Referendum’ (The Financial Times): Could young voters have flipped the result if they’d turned out in greater numbers? The Financial Times’ level-headed analysis is a must-read.
WILL SCOTLAND OPT FOR INDEPENDENCE?
‘Why Brexit Means Scottish Independence Is Off The Table – For Now’ (TIME): While it’s possible, experts suggests it’s unlikely to happen in the next few years. According to Alex Massie, the Scottish editor of the Spectator magazine, the figures imply it wouldn’t be economically viable for Scotland at this stage.
WHAT WILL BREXIT MEAN FOR IRELAND?
‘What Does Brexit Nightmare Mean For Ireland’ (The Irish Times): “Mr Kenny now faces leading Ireland through a period of difficulty and uncertainty unprecedented in the last 50 years, more complex and unpredictable than the recent financial crisis, more destabilising than the Northern Troubles.” Yikes. A troubling look at how deeply Brexit will impact Ireland.
POST BREXIT: THE GOOD
‘German Politicians Propose Offering Young Britons Dual Citizenship’ (The Guardian): All’s not lost, maybe. Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said he would raise the issue of dual citizenship for Brits “which is generally forbidden in Germany for non-EU citizens” in the elections next year. Can’t dispute Gabriel’s logic – he argues that young Brits shouldn’t be penalised for the mistakes of the elders (Brexit was predominantly voted for by older members of the electorate).
‘Pounded By The Pound: Brexit Inspires Its First Erotic Novel’ (The Guardian): There has been one – just one – good thing to come out of Brexit: a bold new erotic novella. Pounded By The Pound: Turned Gay By The Socioeconomic Implications of Britain Leaving The European Union explores the sexual relationship between man and a giant pound coin that somehow also has hands, a “thick golden rod” and the ability to speak. You know it’s going to be good because it’s by a writer who’s previously explored human-dinosaur couplings, human-unicorn couplings and human-inanimate object couplings. Can’t argue with this guy’s CV – Chuck Tingle is clearly the man for the job. The best euro-to-pound conversion rate you’ll ever experience.
‘ „I Will Always Love EU“: The Best Signs From London’s Anti-Brexit March’ (Mashable): We don’t all hate Europe. For visual proof of pro-Remain Brits’ immense feelings, check out photos from London’s anti-Brexit march.
POST BREXIT: THE BAD
‘Brexit In Seven Charts: The Economic Impact’ (The Financial Times): “Rarely has there been such a consensus among economists, as there is on the damage that Brexit will wreak on the British economy.” The Financial Times’ take on the economic impact of Brexit is scrupulously fair, busting myths upheld by both camps, but the conclusion they reach is damning.
POST BREXIT: THE UGLY
‘Worrying Signs’ (Facebook album): In the wake of the referendum results, anecdotal reports of racism rocketed. British pro-remain campaigner Sarah Childs decided to screenshot and collect these in a Facebook album. The album functions as particularly horrible proof that the disturbing stories you’ve heard from your non-white British friends in the wake of the referendum result aren’t anomalies, but the new normal: the post Brexit United Kingdom is a place where lots of people now feel able to be openly and verbally racist.
Brexit’s significance can’t be overstated. Following the referendum, the pound fell to the lowest levels since 1985 and as economics professor Justin Wolfers acknowledged in the New York Times, Brexit hit the US stock market harder than the results of any presidential election in the last sixty years. Given the importance of Brexit, reading up on it is essential.
But what’s next? If you’re pro-Remain and British, you could sign this petition for a second referendum, write to your MP to enquire under what conditions they would support a second referendum, and find further petitions to sign/ideas for political reform to support here. After all – navigating your post-Brexit feels via longreads is great, but actually doing something feels even better.
All Images: Danilo Sierra