For me, friendship is one of life's greatest treasures. It's that feeling deep inside which pulls us together. It's an appreciation of shared values and common experiences. Friendship passes no judgement on ethnicity, faith or economic background. It's unconditional. Stripped back to its core, this same idea is how I see my relationship with Europe and the European Union. My feet may be planted firmly on Kentish soil but I feel strongly connected to my friends in Europe. It's our common values which bind us together.
Born in Tunbridge Wells in the late 70's, my parents, teachers and elders planted this idea of a united Europe. We were promised free movement, to work, live and explore an ever expanding European Union. All this in exchange for peace!
Sadly, I had not realised how precious and vulnerable this promise had become. I was brought up as a European and if this gift is to be handed on to my children and (hopefully) grandchildren, these values need to be cherished, nurtured and shared.