With Brexit regret at all-time high dual citizenship offers those eligible chance to remain
While Brexit stole opportunities from the children who had no say, dual citizenship offers those eligible a chance to remain
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Casting my mind back to June 2016, as the result of the EU referendum was announced, I remember a great sense of loss, not so much for myself but for my child.
The opportunities they once held in their young hands had been taken from them; the chance to work and study unhindered in numerous exciting and vibrant countries across Europe; perhaps finding a job in France to learn to speak the language like a native; maybe their dream career move would await in Germany; or might they have chosen to soak up the sun and culture in places such as Italy or Spain.
Brexit felt like a book containing a rich and colourful future being snapped shut for the young people of the UK. They became the poorer relative of their European cousins still benefiting from the union, thanks to votes cast by people, many of whom would have shuffled off this mortal coil long before the children left to bear the consequences of their actions even reached adulthood.
But there was a glimmer of hope, at least for some of us. For anyone with the opportunity to gain dual citizenship, you had an 'out'.
For me, my saving grace is my Irish mother - who, I might add, has been my saving grace on many more occasions than just this one - whose birthplace offers both me, and her grandchildren, the chance to remain.
And it's not a thought that has only occurred to me of course. Applications for Irish passports rocketed following the referendum result. With so many people in the UK with a parent or grandparent from the Emerald Isle, they too can give back to their families at least some of what had been taken away.
And Irish heritage is by no means the only opportunity open to people - boasting lineage from the other European Union member states could also spell your way back into the fold.
Yet, despite being prepared to do what I can to offer my children as much choice as is open to them, this ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude doesn’t sit entirely well with me. Instead of a select few of us with family from outside the UK keeping hold of some of the bonuses received from being part of such a huge bloc, I would prefer if they were still available to all.
What makes this pill all the more difficult to swallow is the recent poll showing Brexit regret at an all-time high and indeed the majority of people would actually now have preferred to remain in the EU.
So for the time being, while I celebrate my Irishness as the gift that keeps on giving, I remain hopeful that before too many more children pass into adulthood without the opportunities most of us perhaps took for granted, the UK can see the error of its ways and rejoin the union that gave us so much more than it ever took.