Another spanner has been thrown into the works in the countdown to Brexit.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Queen to suspend parliament which will scupper MPs chances to block a no-deal Brexit. On Wednesday, the Queen approved Johnson’s request, prompting a national outcry and protests across the country.
During a Central London protest against prorogation (the official term for the suspension of parliament), a Portuguese woman, who has lived and worked in the UK for 20 years, interrupted an interview and delivered an impassioned and extremely moving speech about Brexit’s impact on her life.
“I’ve built things for you, I’ve looked after your children, I looked after the elderly in this country.”
“I’m Portuguese and I worked here for 20 years and I have no voice and the Settlement Scheme is not working,” the woman — whose name is unknown — told Sky News.
The woman is referring to the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows EU citizens to apply to continue living in the UK once it’s no longer part of the European Union. She had been attending the protest, stating her reason for attending as “because I need a voice.”
“I gave this country my youth, I’m very grateful for what you taught me but you must make me part of all this process,” she said. “I can’t just be kicked out, I’ve built things for you, I’ve looked after your children, I looked after the elderly in this country, now you kick me out with what?”
Per BBC News, a no-deal Brexit would result in the UK immediately exiting the EU with no agreement on Oct. 31. “Overnight, the UK would leave the single market and customs union — arrangements designed to help trade between EU members by eliminating checks and tariffs (taxes on imports),” the BBC explains.
The woman said she is “very, very hurt” by what’s happening to the country.
As she was about to walk away from the interview, the Sky News journalist urged her not to go away, and asked what was happening with her Settlement Status application.
She explained that she’d been told her National Insurance number (the UK version of Social Security) didn’t “correspond to the right thing” and she’s been told she has to restart the whole process.
“Oct. 31 is fast approaching, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? How am I going to stay? What are my rights?” she said.