Tomorrow, June 23rd, the United Kingdom faces a historic vote on whether it will remain a part of the European Union. Commonly referred to as "Brexit," a decision to leave the union could have far-reaching consequences on trade, security, foreign policy, immigration, the economy, and more.
I've been living in the UK now for just under a year, so I'm perhaps not as sensitized to a lot of these issues as if I were a lifelong, hardy British citizen (with excellent teeth and a fondness for bangers and mash). Come to think of it, I'm already not even an EU citizen, given Switzerland's unique outsider status.
So beyond the fact that I would dearly love for the British pound to gain back some of its currency value so that my U.S. school loan would stop costing me 15% more than it did a year ago, there are no immediate consequences for me. It shouldn't affect my ability to work in the UK, or to find a home, travel, etc. Still, personally I like the idea of a Bremain more than a Brexit. And that's largely for reasons laid out by no less than Ben & Jerry's themselves: "Our feeling is that a Remain vote would signal solidarity, hope and compassion, and align less with the interests of fear and hate."
I, too, just kind of like the idea of sticking together. Sure, the EU isn't perfect--nothing is. But it was founded under the idea of peace and harmony for a European continent so rich with different culture, languages, systems, and peoples. It's an example of countries actually coming together, when there are so, so many examples throughout history and the present day of countries warring and tearing each other down.
I don't get to cast a vote tomorrow. And if the UK does vote to Brexit, then that'll be the vote of the people and I'll totally support it--again, I'm hardly the expert on all the sensitivities involved here. But for tonight, I'll remember this Happy Moment of living in the UK on the eve of an historic date, in a historically united EU.
Let's see what history will bring us tomorrow.