– The one with the ‘Brexit baby’ –
Part 1. Her baby.
– When is the baby due?
– The 20th of March.
– That’s also my date of birth! So cute! Your baby and I will be friends! (She laughed and I remembered that I needed to focus) Right. So, March 2019 will be quite a significant month for you I suppose? As a British person?
– Indeed. Because as a British person working for a British MEP, I will be losing my job for the European Union at the end of March. My baby will be a Brexit baby.
– Will it be a girl or boy?
– We don’t know if it will be a girl or a boy. We wanted it to remain a a surprise. I feel we don’t have many surprises left in life these days, so this will be a nice one.
– Have you picked a name yet?
– We have picked a few names in case: my husband has quite an unusual name – Dweezil, since his parents are fans of Frank Zappa. Do you know him?
– He’s a musician?
– Yes. Our child could also be named after one of Zappa’s children.
– Where will you give birth?
In Belgium. The important is that our baby will be European. He or she will be half Belgian – half British and therefore have European citizenship. Which I hope I will have as well sooner or later after Brexit.* My parents are disappointed that the baby won’t be born in the UK but they are happy that their grandchild will at least have a European citizenship.
Part 2. Her.
– You mentioned having a European citizenship and the feeling of being European. Would you feel less European should you not have a European citizenship?
– No. I don’t consider that I’ll stop being European simply because I will lose my citizenship – yet it still hurts that a part of me being European, will be taken away from me.
I feel European whether Brexit goes through or not. Being European is a feeling rather than something tangible.
– That is beautiful. I can imagine it must be painful to watch Brexit unfold.
– Of course it is extremely painful, not only for me but also for the 17 million people that have voted to remain and who are affected by a choice they did not make. They did not vote to leave the European Union and yet they are seeing part of their identity stripped away from them.
Legally and emotionally that is hard. Unless we do remain.
– So you still believe there is a chance for the UK to remain? For Brexit not to happen?
Good question – that a lot of people have been asking since two years. There a this feeling of inevitability but as long as there still is a chance, we will keep on fighting for it. We have never been as close to stopping Brexit as we are now. And even if Brexit still goes through – we will be able to say that we did our best to fight it.
– How do you feel about this upcoming March : Brexit, leaving the Parliament, becoming a mother?
I don’t know if I got my head around being a mother but I am excited. It is a bit scary as well; it will be a challenge. The thing that scares me the most is the timing. When I’ll be finished with my maternity I will be unemployed and that will be the first time in more than 15 years that I’m not in work! I mean; my husband and I had been talking about getting married and having a child for a while. I think Brexit sped everything up between us. It helps obviously that we love each other. I now feel really glad that I have something positive and beautiful to look up to.
March 2019 is going to be incredibly sad but also incredibly happy.
Emily works on environmental affairs with a British member of the European Parliament, in Brussels, Belgium.