ANNA - ONE YEAR ON

It was a pleasure to catch up with Anna – and her adorable dog Angel - again after meeting them in August 2016. We took a stroll in her favourite park to chat about Brexit, Catalonian independence and why you should look after your toys properly. Anna's optimism and energy are infectious and probably the reason why she is riding the post-Brexit wave more successfully than most.

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One year on I’m still not worried about Brexit and remain optimistic about the future. To me it’s important that the decision was taken in a democratic way. If I compare it to the situation in Catalonia, for example, at least the British were allowed to have a say in a matter that was important to them, which didn’t happen in Catalonia. You have to respect that, irrespective of whether you like the result or not.
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The way forward now, in my opinion, is communication and mutual respect between British people and EU nationals - but it has to work both ways. There are a lot of people who come into this country and don’t make any effort to adapt to the culture or the way of life. Some British people have to learn to be more tolerant and accepting towards immigration, it’s true, but by the same token there has to be a willingness to integrate into the community from those coming to live in the country.
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I think there is a lot of manipulation in the information that we get [on the possible state of the economy post-Brexit], both from mainstream media and the Government itself. Most of the time we don’t actually get facts, just opinions or worst-case scenarios, which causes a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. We should now work together as a society to improve things whenever we can and, as individuals, we should strive to be resilient and adapt to the new situation that Brexit will bring.
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[On the rise of nationalism] Extremes are always a bad idea, but I can perhaps understand why some people here in the UK have this strong patriotic feeling. I compare it to a child having a toy he loves and has to share. He is overly cautious and wants to make sure that other children don’t damage it. I think this is perhaps how some British people feel on the subject of immigration. On the other hand, too many times we [immigrants] get tarred with the same brush. It’s true that there are some people who come here and don’t bother to learn the language or contribute to society, but the immense majority of us do – we definitely look after the toy properly.