The coronavirus has shown we can pull together as a community to get things done. We must keep the same spirit to push on with Brexit, says David Herbert, a South Welsh smallholder producing eggs and poultry.
Let me be clear from the outset. I’m not being glib or trite about things.
I’m especially mindful of the impact Covid-19 is having on the world at large and the devastation being left in its wake.
But as we face these uncertain times, a moment in history none of us have ever seen the likes of, I can’t help but feel that the almost apocalyptic state of affairs forces me to draw comparisons with the doomsday scenarios we were led to believe would come about once Brexit came to pass.
I’m sure warnings of supermarket shelves running dry are still fresh in your memory. The threat of needing to queue to buy the staples.
There was talk of food being left to rot in the fields for want of an absent workforce.
Travel would become nigh-on impossible and we’d be marooned economically and physically on our own precious collection of islands.
It was expected that the Government and leadership of our country would be left to a group of people making things up as they go along, firefighting and tackling the unknown, for there had been no relevant precedent to draw from.
And so this has come to pass.
But not because of Brexit. Because of a virus.
A thing infinitesimally smaller than a mote of dust caught through the slats of a lambing shed door.
Yet a thing so potentially deadly that previous scare stories of such exotics as Ebola and Hanta pale almost into insignificance due to the virulence of Covid-19.
I believe Britain will survive Brexit, just as I’m sure we’ll largely survive this.
And it’s because I’ve seen in our communities, in our Government, in our hospitals and clinics, in the businesses which have adapted to stay afloat, all the attributes that make Britain great.
Because of this people are coming together – not literally though (social distancing) – to find a way through.
The Blitz spirit we learnt about is alive again. People are finding ways to get the things that need to be done, done.
Neighbours talk more across the safety of their fences or balconies.
We’re looking out for the vulnerable and needy by, at times, putting ourselves in jeopardy.
And we’re finding our way through turbulent times with support and appreciation being shown – never more so evident than on a Thursday evening at 8pm when the nation collectively cheers on our NHS and essential workers.
Nobody voted for this virus, there’s no hairs’ breadth split as to who would have chosen to face the calamities of such a potent force.
Yet it is upon us and our job, our reason to exist, is to find a way through this, collectively as a nation and as part of a fully global alliance.
When Brexit is finalised and passes, it won’t be anywhere near as devastating as this virus.
But if we show the same spirit, the same willing to forge through and get things done, then we will emerge, not unscathed, but stronger in spirit.
A kingdom once again United.
David can be found tweeting at @hermitcrabeggs