Time to turn out the lights

If Johnson wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the Lights. Mashup based on Sun splash from polling day 1992

I am old enough to remember the Sun newspaper’s 1992 splash “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights” published on polling day for the 1992 General election. They repeated the same trick, and the same headline, with Ed Milliband in 2015.

On Friday 13th 2019, having been shocked at yesterday’s exit poll predicting the largest Conservative party majority since 1983, and being dismayed on waking this morning find out that it was true, I think that I will soon be leaving Britain and turning out the lights.

Since June 2016, Britain’s have sleep-walked towards the disaster that is Brexit. Resistance has been futile. We have been assimilated. But, I have an exit plan. I am married to a German. A European citizen who has lived in Wales for 34 years, paid her taxes, contributed to the local economy, been a good citizen. Who has been made, like many EU citizens settled here, to feel unwelcome and has had no say any of this! She’s been aching to go home for three years. In the meantime, I’ve been hanging on and hoping that the nightmare would end, that sense would prevail, that the nation would realize that revoking article 50 was actually the only sensible way out of the mess we’d got ourselves into!

Instead, Britain has voted for Boris Johnson. The joke candidate. The guy who hides in a fridge to avoid an unscripted interview. It’s Boris’s face that should have been on that light bulb. And now it is.

I am lucky. I can migrate to Germany and be welcomed as mywife’s partner. Five years from now I can be a German citizen, and an EU citizen again.

I will enjoy my retirement. Chewing the fat at an ex-pat Stammtisch in my local pub in, in Berlin, that city that used to be physically divided by a wall. I’ll be able to watch as Britain’s inevitable decline is described by bemused eyebrow-raised moderators on Tagesschau. As Scotland becomes independent; as Ireland reunites; and as Wales goes down the toilet, a forgotten, neglected, vassal state of a nationalist, nasty England.

I thought my retirement and emigration was a few years away yet. Today, it looks like it’s only a matter of weeks.