Thursday, February 20, 2020 -
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Brexit limbo

It’s really sad watching a country that you love falling apart.

From the first time I visited the UK I felt connected. I was drawn in by the British treatment of politics; the dry wit; the eccentricities; the flavors of salt, vinegar, cheddar and chutney. Most of all I fell in love with the topography, from the dramatic cliffs of the countryside to the modest brick Victorian rowhouses that populate its urban centers.

Over the years I’ve spent significant amounts of time in three of the UK’s regions: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. After leaving, I not only returned for visits but continued to consume my news almost entirely from the BBC’s Radio 4.

I remember three years ago staying up all night to watch the unexpected results of the Brexit vote. I knew something momentous was happening. But like so many others, I don’t think I predicted that three years later, the country would not have moved forward one inch.

For the past three years, every news program, every political panel discussion I’ve heard is dominated by this topic. If I’m utterly exhausted by it, I cannot imagine how the average British citizen feels.

The country has come apart. The divisiveness is deep, the paralysis of government is frightening. People in the US who complain about our current political climate — and don’t get me wrong, it’s bad — don’t realize how much worse it could be.

The latest move by its prime minister to suspend parliament, while perhaps legal, furthered the fissures and deepened the chaos. The country is facing an existential crisis. How much longer will the UK — the country I feel is my second home — exist?

It all leaves me feeling unbearably sad.

Shana Goldberg may be reached at

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Shana Goldberg

IJN Assistant Publisher |

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