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Brexit hasn't just divided society, it has divided families as well

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Brexit hasn't just divided society, it has divided families as well.

It is undeniable that Brexit has divided the United Kingdom, with people identifying 'remain' or 'leave' more than they do with any political party.  This is unsurprising considering how tight the results were, with the leave campaign winning with a majority of 51.9% to 48.1%.

Yet when discussing division most people focus on society as a whole, and how it has been split down the middle, with people identifying more and more based on how they voted and what class and age they are, as well as what economic situation they come from. What few seem interested in discussing is how the referendum has affected families, and the consequences of such division in the home.

As someone who came from a family who was significantly divided on the referendum I can tell you that the run up the referendum was not fun, and the resulting fallout was plain ugly.

Within my family my older brother, sister, my father and my grandmother all voted to leave the European Union, while my mother, twin brother and I all voted to remain.  As you can imagine this led to conflict, as arguments between different family members arose whenever the issue was broached.

 

One particular night I remember was a whole family outing to our local curry house. The referendum was looming ever closer and somehow the unfortunate issue became a topic of conversation.

I should interject here that my family, while wonderful, are all rather stubborn (myself included). As such we are often unable to give way in arguments, sticking to our beliefs with an impressive dedication. Consequently the conversation soon turned into a heated debate, albeit spoken in whispers. Unable to see eye to eye the dinner continued under a cloud of tension, each of us desperately attempting to convince our loved ones to vote the same way that we intended, to no avail.

Fast forward one year and emotions still run high. As a staunch remain supporter I was devastated by the result, feeling betrayed by a country I loved and disappointed with what it had become. Meanwhile my father gloated with excitement in the weeks that immediately followed, seeing for the first time a bright future for a nation of which he was so proud.

With only my twin brother, mother and I living in the house he was unable to bask in his joy or share it with his family, leading him to become visibly frustrated. A part of me felt bad and wanted to support him, yet a larger part was too angry to forgive him for what I saw as a betrayal. 

Arguments still abound whenever the issue is discussed, especially between my father and I who struggle to overcome the divide of our beliefs and priorities. As such the issue is avoided at all costs, as good as blacklisted in our home in an attempt to avoid the poison seeping in to our family any more, as it has the rest of the UK.

Despite the tension that remains around Brexit we are a family who love each other, and are determined to keep the peace where possible. We always put our family above politics, though anyone in the same position as myself will know that is not always easy.

This is an attitude we intend to keep as negotiations begin and divisions in the UK become even wider, and it is one I would recommend to anyone struggling with the same situation. Yet I must admit to a feeling of dread as the whole toxic mess is once more stirred into life, and the issue of Brexit is once again firmly back at the forefront of all of our minds.




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