The era that Britain was a member of the European Union really was the best time to be a kid. The tie-dye, the hair scrunchies, the gel pens, running home to catch Angela Merkel on the TV – nothing beats it! Don't listen to the Leavers looking forward to post-war Britain 2.0, with their milk cartons and their Cuban Missile Crisis and their "Beatles" – what we had was way better than that, and that's the tea!
Also, those visa-free trips to Barcelona? That time you lived in Amsterdam for a year and got so stoned you forgot your own name? The improved workers' rights ratified through a collection of 28 countries? It really was a hella lit time to be alive!
Here are some things you'll only remember if you were an EU membership era kid:
1. Freedom of Movement
Remember booking your tickets to Brussels for an Interrail trip and not having to get a visa at any point? Shout out freedom of movement!
2. A General Sense of Political Unity With Our Neighbouring Countries
This one banged! Honestly. Every day after school, you'd straight home, grab a Cheesestring and a cup of Sunny D, and discuss how Britain's position in the international landscape was only strengthened by the ties it had to other EU member states? Man, what a time!!
I know it seems mad, but there was a time when standard-issue British cheddar wasn't the only thing you could get at Sainsbury's or in your ration pack. Growing up, you'd find this unpasteurised cheese in an M&S sandwich, at Christmas, or maybe even have it after dinner, if it was a special occasion. When brie was on the table… you knew it was going to be a laugh!
4. European Health Insurance / EHIC Card
Remember when your dad broke his leg quite badly walking in Austria and you could get an air ambulance having to pay a huge bill because that’s just what living under the EU was like??? Haha, everyone wanted one of those cards!
5. Higher Welfare Meat
They just don't make it like this anymore, you know? Sure, the 2020s might have chlorinated chicken, but back in 2019, you KNEW it was dinner time when mum brought out the red tractor certified meat.
Omg, don't pretend you're not missing this one! Every Friday night, you'd sneak downstairs while your parents were asleep, pull out a nice bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (maybe the 2014, or the 2016 if you were feeling fancy!) and get wild with your pals in a park down the road, blasting out Blu Cantrell's "Breathe" on your Motorola Razr.
7. Red Passports
These were all the rage at school. Bar gooey aliens or playing British Bulldog in the playground, this was all you and your pals could talk about. Every time you'd go abroad, everyone would get theirs out and compare notes, like, "Wow, check out that document that gives you the right to be exposed to a load of cultures and work in a ton of different countries without a work permit."
Not going to miss any of this at all!