Monday, 23 January 2017

Dear Britain, It's Not You It's Me

Dear Britain,

It's not you it's me.

Actually that's a lie. It's a little bit you. Well, actually, it's a lot you. And a little bit me.

Britain, I just don't love you anymore.

The last few months have been a turbulent time in our relationship. It's hit rock bottom if I'm honest. You forced me into the arms of another. I felt I had no choice, but I admit I fled willingly.

We haven't been living together now for more than sixteen years so I guess a cooling off in our relationship was inevitable. It wasn't something I could ever have imagined when I packed up my English flat and headed for the shores of the Netherlands on a ferry all those years ago. I thought you would always be the love of my life.

But you ruined that.

You had to let something come between us.


Brexit ripped us apart.

There had been talk of a reunion last year. But Brexit wiped that from the table. Watching you fool around with Brexit has been hard. But I'm glad I'm watching from a distance.

I see now just how much we have grown apart.

I value other cultures, other languages, other ways of living life. I love that the world is a diverse and big place. I understand just how little you are in the scheme of things.

I am shocked to realise how badly your eyes have deteriorated since I left you; you have become shortsighted. You've become insular. Britain, I worry about you.

And Brexit. How will Brexit treat me in the years to come? Have you given any thought to that? Will you look after me when Brexit takes over? I fear you won't. So I'm looking after myself.

Britain, I see your flag and something withers inside.

Luckily, I can still stand the sight of Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock, and can overlook your indiscretion as I spread Marmite on my toast. Colman's mustard and Branston Pickle will always have a place in my fridge, but Britain, there are no warm and fuzzy feelings when I think of you these days.

I'm not mad anymore. Not like I was when I first found about about your philandering with Brexit. Now, I 'm just resigned to not playing a part in your future. Now, I'm curious where you will end up.

And if I'm being truly honest, which I am, I'm also hoping your behaviour won't impact the price of my mustard and pickle.

Britain, I think it's true to say that we have irreconcilable differences. You go your way, and I'll go mine.

It's definitely more you than it is me.


A British Expat
(who is no longer an expat in the true sense of the word).


  1. Great post. I was really surprised when Brexit was voted for and I still think they are making a huge mistake. Time will tell.

  2. I'm particularly baffled by expats who voted leave. Do they not understand the consequences? As a wife of a Brit living in the EU (where I am afforded full work, residence and travel rights) I had no right to vote even though Brexit affects me directly.

    1. I had no right to vote either because I've been abroad for 16 years. It does of course effect my rights! I'm sure there's logic in there somewhere but I can't find it.

  3. I'm starting to feel the same way I am sad to say.

  4. In England a lot of mostly older people voted for Brexit because the country had become more densely populated than the Netherlands. Here in Scotland hardly anyone wanted Brexit. Perhaps Scotland could become a province of the Netherlands!