June 23, 2024

“It was a great shock. I was very sad” – whisper-words

Britain’s Sarah Matthews and Georgia Green did not want Britain to leave the European Union. They talk about what has happened since the UK left the European Union.

Reporter Orla Matthews from Class 4B at Thaddeus Rendell talks to her Aunt Sarah Matthews and Cousin Georgia Green about Brexit and its consequences.

whisper: What is Britain’s exit from the European Union?
green: Brexit is the decision by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom of the United Kingdom) to withdraw from the European Union. The European Union is like a club in which member states work very closely together. They trade a lot with each other and people are allowed to reside in any member state. Brexit caused the United Kingdom to leave that club.
Matthews: Brexit is the worst British decision of the century. The United Kingdom left the European Union without a valid reason.

whisper: Do you like Brexit?
green: not at all. You should have stayed in the EU and tried to improve on the things that weren’t perfect.
Matthews: No, I don’t see anything good in Brexit. Some people say the UK got a vaccine against coronavirus faster than the EU. But I’m not sure if I should believe that.

whisper: Have some things changed for you since Brexit?
green: Yes. Travel just got more complicated. I have to think if I can travel to another country. Some things are not often available for purchase. At the moment, there are no tomatoes and cucumbers in the supermarket because they come from the European Union.
Matthews: Yes. I work for a company that makes vitamins for animals. Before Brexit, we could easily sell our products in other EU countries. Now we have to do a lot of things differently. It takes longer and costs much more.

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whisper: What did British prime ministers do to get the British to vote against the EU?
green: David Cameron was prime minister at the time and called for a referendum on Brexit. In fact, he wanted to stay in the European Union. He thought people would vote against it. Unfortunately, that was a miscalculation.
Matthews: At the time of the Brexit vote, Boris Johnson was not Prime Minister. He wanted to be more popular than Cameron and promised people a bright future outside the European Union. Much of what he said was a lie. Some newspapers have also misled people into voting for Brexit.

whisper: How did you feel when it became clear that the UK would leave the European Union?
green: It was a huge shock. I was so sad. I couldn’t believe it. Many people wanted to undo that by voting again. This is mainly because it was the elderly who voted for Brexit. Young people don’t want that at all.
Matthews: At first I was shocked and deeply moved. Then I got angry and wanted to do everything to prevent Brexit. The vote result was very close – roughly 50 percent to 50 percent. What saddens me is the realization that many of my relatives and acquaintances voted for Brexit. It was hard talking to them because they firmly believe that Brexit is the right thing to do. It’s still hard to talk about, but some now regret the decision.

whisper: Is there anything you can do about it?
green: No, unfortunately not. But I hope that one day we will be able to join the European Union again. It’s just a shame what we did to ourselves as a result of Brexit.
Matthews: The new chairman is Rishi Sunak. He is trying to be more friendly to the European Union. Now more people want to go back to the EU and stop Brexit. But British politicians are afraid to talk about it. It’s very frustrating.
whisper: Is it related to the future of children?
green: Yes. Everything is getting more expensive. Mainly gas and electricity. I was paying £45 for gas. Now I pay 250 pounds. In order to pay the bills, I have to go back to work much earlier than I would like. My daughter is only 11 months old and I would like to be with her full time for another year. I can’t do that anymore. I’m going back to work in three weeks so we can afford to live.
Matthews: Yes, the European Union has laws that make governments help the poor. Those rules are gone now. The poor get less help now than they used to. Young people cannot work in other countries as easily as before. Even if the United Kingdom decides to rejoin the European Union, more Britons will be poorer.

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