Dear Britain,

Hey, Britain. It’s been a while.

It’s come to my attention that you’re going through a bit of a crisis. I’ve been told there are a lot of people who want you to leave the European Union.

I was a bit surprised by this, because the EU has brought Britain trading benefits, human rights legislation and an improved standing on a global stage. It seemed like a self-defeating thing to do when you looked at the facts. But then I was told about the immigrants.

Apparently people are taking advantage of EU immigration law to move to Britain and take advantage of your jobs and social infrastructure.

That hit me hard. Because, you see, for 30 years of my life, I was one of those immigrants.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: I’m sorry.

I apologize for growing up in your country and internalizing your culture. I’m very sorry for my accent and my love of Doctor Who. My regrets for my fond memories of school fetes, picnics on the Thames and my ability to still sing the entire theme to Rainbow. I can’t even begin to tell you how I feel about tag in the playground or being part of the relay on sports day.

I guess it’s rude to bring this up, but while I’m sorry for the strong friendships I made, which will last our entire lives, I’m even more sorry (sorrier?) for the girlfriends I had in Britain from 2000–2011. I even asked one to marry me! She said no, though, so you’re safe.

I apologize for my career, starting with building a website that supported my local community in 1995. I’m sorry for the business I started and the British people I employed. I now recognize I was wrong.

I’m sorry for misunderstanding Britain as a country at the forefront of peaceful tolerance, where multiculturalism was embraced. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that must have made you.

I’m sorry for mistakenly assuming I was welcome there. Having seen all your complaints about all those European immigrants, I know you must be talking about me, too, and not just people with different skin colours and religions, and I’m incredibly regretful for overstaying my welcome.

Mostly, when it comes down to it, at the end of the day (should I stop using that phrase? It feels very British) I’m sorry for living in your country for so long.

I won’t do it again.

Love,

Ben

Written by

Writer: of code, fiction, and strategy. Trying to work for social good.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store