23 August 2015

Fears about Brexit are growing.  Whilst the media are, quite rightly, currently concentrating on the plight of the many thousands fleeing their impoverished countries for the EU, the looming issue of Brexit is still on the back-burner. Whilst Britain contemplates leaving the EU, ironically the reason so many are desperately trying to reach Europe's golden shores is its 70 continuous years of peace and thereby jobs. The Guardian did a survey and discovered that thousands of expats across the EU are applying for dual nationality due to fears about the potential effects of a Brexit. Some have cleverly unearthed Irish family connections to smooth their path, whilst others are contemplating the unthinkable - moving back to Britain whilst uncomfortably off the housing ladder. The latter include pensioners with health problems who, if not covered by the reciprocal health agreement in the EU, would find it impossible to get the mandatory, private cover needed by non-EU citizens. If all those refugees can see the benefits of living in Europe, why can't Britain?  What's particularly worrying is Britain's narrow, inward-looking stance - the old 'I'm all right Jack' mentality.  But, what if things went wrong in the future?  That's the time you need as many friends as possible. There's a very chilly draught blowing across from the Channel.


Cathie Dunn said...

I whole-heartedly agree with you, and I'm also concerned about the British expats caught up in this mess, with no hint of what it might look like afterwards. There hasn't been any sensible (!) discussion about provisions at all, but rather much scaremongering.

As a German living in the UK, I'm getting worried. So after 18 years here, we're thinking of moving to the continent (a first for hubby). The vibrant exchange of cultures and ease of travel between countries is what we're looking for. We don't want to be stuck here, with no advantages for travelling and staying abroad like we have now. Britain needs to look outside her borders – to her neighbours and friends of over half a century – to find her rightful place.

Olga Swan said...

Many thanks for your valuable response, Cathy. It's really interesting to hear the views of a German expat living in the UK. Both our different situations create worries which need a wider audience. Tschuss!