Breakup letter to the EU


This is it. I didn’t think I’d ever use this clichéd line seriously in real life but: it’s not you, it’s me. Seriously. You see, there are people in my family who think we don’t match. They say our cultures are too different, you don’t have my best interests at heart and that you’re too controlling. I know it’s bullshit, but this past year the pressure has gotten too much. If it was just up to me, you know I would fight for what we have because, like Drake said – when I see potential I just got to see it through. But for a relationship to be successful, it takes more than just love between two people. Our values, goals and communities also need to be aligned; and right now, it feels like that’s no longer the case. So, after decades of being together, I’m bowing to the pressure and saying goodbye to everything we’ve built together. I’m saying goodbye to our joint bank account, our meticulously delegated roles and responsibilities and our Amazon Prime subscription. The fact that I’ll soon have to pay extra for next-day-delivery hurts more than you know. But know this: Even though you had a problem with transparency and I sometimes felt distant from you, ultimately our union was built on idealism, cooperation and trust.

The divorce will be difficult and long – two years to be precise. We have so many things to divide up and untangle but my hope is that, along the way, those who said you were no good will finally see just how much you did for me. They’ll applaud you for how you protected my consumer rights and ensured the quality and safety of all products; and how you always coordinated with our friends to keep our borders safe from terrorism, cyber-crime and people trafficking. I also met some of my best friends from different countries through you. I’ll miss being able to come over whenever I like and being able to stay for however long I want; and the role you played in my economic prosperity and academic research funding will not be forgotten. You also made my lifestyle a lot greener and more environmentally friendly, while giving me some of the best trade deals of my life. I want people to finally appreciate this as they leave me to do it all alone because, while it’s true that I did contribute a lot to this relationship too – you gave me so much back and it was totally worth it.

You see, what my family have overlooked is the fact even though we are powerful in our own right and have a well-known name – the world is more connected now. We have transnational problems that require transnational solutions. I think they’re deluded about my prospects without you. I mean, even now so many of my businesses are affected. Carmakers and other export manufactures are demanding special protections that I can’t guarantee. My beloved NHS could lose tens of thousands of qualified doctors and nurses, and my financial institutions are considering moving jobs to mainland Europe. And dinner in the House has gotten so awkward. Aunty Nicola is weirdly using our breakup to get a divorce of her own and Teresa is pretty much blanking her.

But look, maybe in the future when we’ve both sorted our shit out, we can try again. Until then, I wish you well and I’ll be cheering you on. Don’t lose the idealistic, cooperative spirit that made me fall in love with you in the first place – and I’ll still come round and visit when I can.


Abi Awojobi

Abi Awojobi

Abi is a contributor to Common Vision's Brexit Watch bureau of millennial commentators, researchers and analysts. Abi grew up in London but hold dual nationality (Nigerian-British). She spent a year in Berlin as part of the Erasmus programme and recently graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in politics and international relations. Now, She works as a freelancer for a social enterprise called Leaders Unlocked and has her own tech start-up.
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