After the results of the UK’s referendum were declared, I and a few friends who were also British citizens living in Italy considered whether we could do anything to better the situation. We had been excluded from voting in a referendum that would probably have a much greater impact on us than on the majority of other British citizens who had been entitled to participate. This should not, however, preclude us from expressing our concerns and bringing them to wider attention.
We agreed that one of the main flaws of the referendum was that the result in favour of Brexit strongly reflected the views of older voters whereas the effects of the decision would impact mainly on the lives of younger people including many who had not yet reached voting age. Our own children and grandchildren were young British citizens living in the UK who were strongly committed to maintaining links with Europe.
We decided to create a website and to post articles on it that we would write, in which we would speak up for the cause of the young and call for greater understanding by older voters of their aspirations. We also wanted to foster a process of healing some of the tensions that had led to bitter divisions within families on age lines.
Between 2016 and the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement at the end of 2020 we posted over 70 articles, quite a lot of which were picked up by other website operators. Whether they had any effect or not, we shall never know!
Once the Withdrawal Agreement had been concluded there seemed to be no point in continuing to flog a dead horse. We kept the site open but made no new contributions. However, several months later, I have been roused to start writing again by the worrying conduct of Johnson’s government in implementing the Agreement. Our main concern is over what appears to be its deliberate intent to create tensions between Britain and Europe rather than to move forward together in the spirit of mutual trust and good will which is vital for the smooth implementation of the agreement and to maintain peace in the European region.
The Future of Our Children site has been scaled down, but it will continue to serve as an archive for our articles and those written by others who are on the same wavelength.