Brexit as seen from a café in Brussels
"My attempt to express a vision for the future of Europe in a photo. A thriving breeding ground, ready for a popular democracy". Photo: Tarja Cronberg
By Tarja Cronberg
Sitting on the Place de Londres in Brussels. A throng of people around the lives of union. Young people who meet each other, older ones hastening for picturesque place to care for children, people in suits on their way to lobby dinners.
Common to all a dependency on a Union which is in crisis. The Summer's night visualizes it all. The body, the way to move, the expression, and what they have in mind.
Most people's lives will be affected by Brexit. Many Britons lose their jobs. Those who want to remain in the European institutions are already looking for new passports, new identities. Some of the officials hurrying past will have to negotiate the British exit conditions. Will they be able to move freely in Europe, to study, work or retire here? Others will have to revise plans, re-do figures. Instead of 28 there will be in the future only 27. An entire people erased from statistics and reports.
My colleague, with whom I drink caffe latte, says that for her personally it does not matter. Negotiations are going to drag out. They will perhaps still be on, when she could retire after thirty years in parliament. She is a Scot from Edinburgh, where 70% voted for Remain. Those votes do not count now, but could have new meaning when the Scots decide to seek secession. She looks worried, Britain's constitution does not allow that.
Europe is not collapsing, but rapidly changing. I myself work with an organization that has its headquarters in London. Tomorrow we have a teleconference, the organization should move to another city. Branding means a lot, you have to be "in". So it will probably Berlin, maybe Paris. But caffe latte I will continue to drink in the future, here at Place de Londres, in Brussels.