Statement from our Students with Disabilities Rep: RE Brexit

Written by Robin Kaye


Brexit is a scary prospect for everyone. Not least because it’s a change about which we just don’t know. It’s an unprecedented result, and we have no guidance, no model from which we can shape our future. At best, it’s guess work. Yet the British people voted for Brexit, and so whether or not we agree, Brexit we got.

Brexit however has come at an interesting time for the union. A time of change over and new beginnings already. So, now we, as individuals, as organisations, as unions as representatives must look at our future and prepare through this shadow of uncertainty.

That’s why, as I look to begin my term in office as your students with disabilities rep, I feel we should collectively look for the positives in what could be a positive or a negative situation. I want to say, that whatever the future may hold, I want to try and reassure some anxieties.

Because whilst I say we all fear what may happen, and we all recognise the potentially huge back step for many liberation movements, I think it’s fair to say disabled people, students and non-students alike, have most cause to fear. In the face of swinging cuts, we are now likely to face even more.

I will as students with disabilities rep try to keep above it all. I’ll make it my point to try and be aware of potential changes, to use Brexit as a platform for campaign. Not to campaign against Brexit, but to try and use our influence to use these changes for good. To take a forward leap not just for disabled students but disabled people.

It’s important to remember too that whilst my fullest intention is to use Brexit to strengthen campaigns, and gain more employability rights for disabled students, to pave a more accessible path for us all. You should too remember that these changes will not be immediate, that’s the only reassurance I think we can all take as a certainty. Whilst we may not know how long we have before this monumental decision is implemented in it’s full, we have some time. Time in which we need to come together, we need to make a strategy and we need to unite. I cannot do this alone.

Before I leave you on your own however, before I let you fall into despair, know that we have stood tall and alone. Whilst Brexit is a certain uncertainty, what is not an uncertainty is that we can do this together. The equal pay act of 1970, and a reminder that the UK has some of best maternity, paternity and adoption rights worldwide, shows we can do this, shows we can pick up whatever pieces remain shattered of the England we know.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this term in office brings success for us all.

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