The decision of the referendum on 23rd June 2016 – whatever justification might be given – was a statement about how the UK sees itself in Europe. The vote to leave the EU was a declaration that rather than work within and as a part of Europe, the UK preferred to operate alone. It isn’t a unique attitude to the UK. Increased globalisation, while benefitting the world as a whole, has often neglected select areas.

Individually, the benefits of an open, increasingly integrated society are not evenly spread. Sadly, there are great portions of this country that have been neglected by the British government. Doubly sad is the fact that these areas have often been supported by EU funding which will now be lost.

The British still go on holiday “to Europe”. Our membership in the EU has been marred with politicians laying blame for unpopular policies with the EU and taking credit for its successes. We didn’t display EU flags and the only MEPs I know are Farage and Le Pen.

Despite its flaws, the EU gave the UK a status within Europe. In this blog, I want to share what Europe has meant to me personally. I intend to blur the lines between Europe and the EU to mirror what I saw to be a defining sentiment behind the referendum result.

The UK may not feel European but I do. Which makes this split especially personal and emotive. Within my family and friends, opinions have been split and tensions have been high on both sides. One of the biggest difficulties I’ve had when talking to my family is simply explaining why it matters to me. I hope this blog will help them – and you – see how important this continent is to me.