Mind the Brexit Gap: Speech of Malwina Łukaszewicz, Polish Student on “Brexit and My Hope for the Future”

“Holding on to my Polish roots is very important to me. Even though I Love my life in Ireland, my heart will always be in Poland with the rest of my family. “

“When you cross the border today, no one stops you to ask for your passport or to look in your car or any trucks. If Brexit happens, many of my friends who live in Northern Ireland that go to Polish school will have to be checked every time. I think that is not right.”

Here is the message of Malwina Łukaszewicz, Polish Student on “Brexit and My Hope for the Future.”

“Mind the Brexit Gap: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion in the Border,” Cavan Crystal Hotel, June 1, 2019

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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen!
My name is Malwina and I’m 15 years old.

First of all I would like to thank for this invitation. I’m really happy that I can take part in this event.

I moved to Ireland in 2006. My dad had to close his business in Warsaw, after Poland joined the European Union in 2004. Everything in Poland increased in price after 2004 and this made it hard to have a good life there. My dad got offered a job in Ireland as a lorry driver and he moved to Ireland, a year later my mam and I joined him and we have been here ever since.

I have found Irish people very open and helpful. I had no English when I moved here, and thanks to my primary school teachers and the brilliant friends that I have made, I consider myself to be fluent in English now.

Holding on to my Polish roots is very important to me. Even though I Love my life in Ireland, my heart will always be in Poland with the rest of my family. For this reason I started attending Polish School in Cavan Town in 2010. This has helped me to learn my Polish history and how to read and write in Polish.

Every summer I go to Poland for 3 months to stay with my family. I try to fit a years worth of my absence in those 3 months, and its pretty hard. I have never spent any major events with my Polish family. I have missed out on birthdays, weddings, Christmas and Christenings. Even though this is hard, I still feel lucky to be able to spend 3 months a year with them. I have no relations apart from my dad and my mam living in Ireland.

I’m not really into Brexit if I do say so myself but from the information that I have been informed is that “Brexit” means “Britain exiting from the EU”. The EU is a group of 28 countries. They all work together to try to make things like buying and selling products to each other, and going to live and work in each other’s countries, easier. The Irish Government is worried about what’s going to happen between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

They want a backstop: an unbreakable agreement that there will never be a physical border in Ireland, whether there’s a deal or not. When you cross the border today, no one stops you to ask for your passport or to look in your car or any trucks. If this will happen many of my friends who live in Northern Ireland that go to Polish school will have to be checked every time. What if they forget their passport or any form of identity? They can’t go anywhere without that which means they will miss the school day. When a school will want to go on a school trip all of them will have to bring a passport. I just think that is not right.

Thank you very much again for inviting me and it was a pleasure talking to everyone.