It is less than a week until the British voters will decide if they will stay in the EU or if they will leave and while we in Ireland have no influence over the vote, it is still interesting to look at the what Britain was before the EU discussion began and what it is now.

I love the multicultural society in Ireland and if you compare it to an Ireland from the 80s, the society has changed SIGNIFICANTLY. Not for everyone, I know and you don’t have to change anyway if you don’t want to, but for the people that like variety, they can find events from all different countries and cultural backgrounds in Dublin.

But whenever I was in the UK in the past, I was always puzzled that the UK was soooo much more multicultural and that all seems to be working quite well in the society. There are Indians&Pakistani, Africans, Asians and Caucasians and a lot more in close proximity and nobody seemed to mind in the slightest.

The favourite national dish seems to be Indian, Italians are in charge of the previous national dish: Fish & Chips and they brought Coffee and Ice Cream, Jamaicans provide the music and had a sizeable influence on youth culture in the 60s and 70s were hugely important, Black people seemed better integrated than in most other countries. All in all, it just seemed as if Britain endorsed their colonial past by accepting all different cultures in and giving them the same opportunities. I know that Irish people had to deal with a lot of subliminal or even open racism at some point, but it seemed to me that this had improved a lot as well.

Please note: No formal research went into this, it was just an impression!!

But then the Brexit discussion happened! And the “new” Britain seems to be divisive, intolerant, selfish, excluding, “we are better than they”, confrontational , bullying and Anti-European or even Anti-International. What happened??

Imagine you had a nice, friendly and tolerant neighbour who over night became an intolerant, antisocial bully. You would probably not WANT to have anything to do with the bully anymore, right? So, if the majority of British people decides for leaving the EU, I think we should be glad that they are gone and we should treat them like you would treat the anti-social bully neighbour.

By the way: I don’t think the EU is perfect and we should be grateful for all it does, BUT I do think that Ireland and many other countries have and still do benefit hugely from the EU. I also am a strong believer in co-operation and “strength in numbers” instead of doing it on your own and I think that improving the EU from the inside is the right approach. So, Brexit supporters, I don’t understand you at all!