Brexit was one of the two shocks of 2016 for me. Another is the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. It was July that year I am reminded of a beautiful book called ‘The Plot Against America’ by Philip Roth., which imagines the possibility of Charles Lindbergh being elected President of the United States in 1940 with an isolationist agenda. The book is not only for Roth’s narrative strength, but because, published in 2004, it reports something similar that happened in 2016. As for Brexit, this was my other shock of the year, because the United Kingdom is politically, culturally and humanistically thought and practiced, and because the premises are wrong. We could say that Brexit turned out to be a real ‘shot in the foot’.
Britain’s exit from the European Union is estimated to be the cause of the biggest drop in the UK economy. The implications are huge, with fewer jobs, worse wages, reduced investment, and less capacity for government to perform its essential functions. I only mean economics, I’m forgetting politics like the possibility of Scotland leaving the UK. The British scene is subtle and whimsical in a country that has become a paragon of progress since Margaret Thatcher’s edicts.
I was surprised by the 2021 immigration report for these reasons Delivered last Wednesday. According to this document, about 60,000 Portuguese emigrated, 15,000 of whom went to the United Kingdom. Note that I am not surprised by the number of Portuguese who left Portugal. Given an approximate value Same report for 2020. What is surprising is the number of Portuguese who went to England even with the problems and failing economy in this country. The data regarding the United Kingdom is not false (the British have a serious problem to solve) the fact is that there are many Portuguese who prefer a British crisis to a Portuguese one. Why? The conclusion we are left to draw is this: the crisis in Portugal with PS is worse than the one in Britain with Brexit.
I won’t say it’s important, but every time we look sympathetically at the United Kingdom it is urgent that we recognize this extraordinary fact. It is interesting that the Estado Novo has already used this tactic of drawing attention to problems abroad in order to make our own acceptable. There was no free press at that time. The reality today is different and doesn’t justify it. Many Portuguese fly away because it is a sign that something is wrong with us and that the way we speak and look at others is bad.
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