Yesterday, writers including Neil Gaiman, Marina Lewycka, Nikesh Shukla, Philip Pullman and John le Carré wrote a letter to The Guardian expressing their view that to choose Brexit is to lose. They are encouraging people to vote pro-EU in the European Parliament elections.
The debate leading up to the Brexit referendum was filled with misinformation built on fear, envy and malice. Much of the desire to leave the EU was rooted in a desire to halt immigration – even immigrants who entered the UK in the 1970s wanted to halt immigration. All over Europe refugees are finding themselves being blamed for all manner of maladies and voters are moving towards the right for solutions in a way that is frightening should history repeat itself.
Immigration is one of the subjects of my next novel LIVING WITH THE HEADLESS MULE. The protagonist, faced with the prospect of being unable to re-enter the UK if she leaves, contemplates overstaying her visa in order to stay close to her daughter. It is a surprisingly common story for many people who find themselves becoming illegal immigrants because the alternatives are unthinkable.
After I have finished drafting the first three novellas of the sci-fi series I am currently working on, I intend to write a novel, which may turn out to be a prequel to WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY, which explores what happens when communities feel threatened by sections of society or single out sections of society as a target for their anger and frustrations as was the case in Europe in the 1930s.
I hope that our society does not go down that route because I fear that the number of refugees we are seeing entering Europe at the moment is only the tip of the iceberg and when the twin challenges of climate change and resource shortage really kicks in, we will see an influx of desperate people the likes of which this world has never before seen.