What Leaving The EU Means For Some
Last Tuesday I had to make a journey to the mainland, something I haven’t done for a few years. It was for a half hour appointment, but it was a long day trip, so we had plenty of time to kill.
I took my camera in the hope of taking some photos, but nothing did it for me. There was very little in the way of greenery and I found the dull and dirty high rise buildings depressing to say the least. In the end we spent hours wandering around Patra, doing a coffee shop crawl. I was a twitching wreck by the end of the day, high on very little sleep and far too much caffeine (my children would probably tell you that’s normal with sleep and without the caffeine!).
On the ferry journey back to the island, I felt nothing but relief to be returning home. I’ve lived here a long time and city life is not for me, despite having grown up in Exeter. I love space and the outdoors. I love being able to see the sky and listen to the sounds of nature. I can live without evening entertainment and I can live with the fact that island life comes with it’s limits.
The UK leaving the EU is bound to have repercussions for UK citizens living abroad.
Roll On One Week
The world is still reeling from the fact that it looks highly likely that the UK will be leaving the EU. Me included. No one knows for sure what the future holds for British passport holders, but having not lived in the UK for over twenty years, I (and many others) had no say in the future of our Mother country. Which in hindsight was probably wrong.
Initially that didn’t bother me overly. After all I don’t live there and haven’t for a long time, so why should I have a say? Now my thoughts have changed. I’m not sure if we will be able to stay living here long term, if we possess non EU passports. And the only reason my South African husband has been allowed to live and work here in Greece, has been on the strength of my EU passport.
Freedom Of Movement
Being married to a South African has allowed me to witness what it’s like not to have the freedom of movement between countries that EU passport holders enjoy. It’s not funny. I can’t remember a time when my heart hasn’t pounded as we enter the UK for a holiday. We get questioned and cross questioned.
One Christmas we flew from Athens to Paris to spend a few days at EuroDisney, before heading over to the UK for Christmas. We were questioned on entry into the UK, as our flight pattern was odd and we were entering through Exeter airport. We had to explain where we had been. Where we lived. Why we wouldn’t be overstaying our welcome in the UK. Customs even asked the children what Disneyland was like. Which I am sure was their way of checking out our story.
The UK leaving the EU would mean that freedom of travel to other EU countries would no longer happen. It would also mean less freedom for people wanting to travel and work, to experience other cultures.
The world is becoming a smaller place. A place that the young and old want to explore, but leaving the EU will mean that many youngsters, may not get the opportunity to travel so easily. And that is a step backwards.
Worrying Won’t Help
I’m not going to lose sleep over the vote, as what will be, will be, but that’s not to say I’m not concerned. Leaving the island last week made me realise just how happy I am here and now that happiness is in the balance.
I do have permanent residence here, however my husband does not. He has to reapply for residency every five years. So if the UK does leave the EU (which is highly likely now, despite the uproar), I will no longer belong to an EU country and my husband may no longer be allowed to stay here.
Moving back to the UK is also out of the question. With my husband being a South African citizen it means he is not allowed to live or work in the UK. I must be able to earn a crazy amount of money to support all of us before that would be excepted. It is also not something we have ever really considered, because we are happy here.
Having lived in South Africa of a couple of years I know that’s not for me either. It’s a beautiful country, but I was never truly relaxed there.
It’s Not Only Us
There are many other people who have chosen to live abroad, but who had no vote. There are plenty people who have worked hard all their lives in order to retire abroad, who are now worried.
Due to an arrangement between EU member states, UK pensioners living abroad have never had to worry about healthcare. That also applied to other EU citizens living in the UK. That will probably change in the coming years, especially as no one is feeling too lenient towards the UK at the moment. There is definitely a fear within the EU that other countries will follow suit. Meaning the People of the UK will have to face the far reaching consequences of their majority vote.
There has also been talk of freezing British pensions for people living outside the UK. Which hardly seems fair if a person has paid fully into the system.
It leaves UK nationals who own a house in the EU open to possible increases. Taxes for home owners are already crazy as it is in Greece, without being penalized for holding a British passport.
All of which could well see an influx of people heading back to the UK with nowhere to go.
It Is Only Hearsay
It is early days yet and as I’ve already said, what will be, will be. The full consequences of the UK leaving the EU won’t be seen for a long time. I can’t help but feel though, that the People of the UK were led like lambs to the slaughter, not fully aware of the consequences.
Politics (and religion) are subjects that I don’t normally touch on my blog as I believe it’s each to their own. I decided though to share my thoughts on recent happenings after reading some other bloggers posts on the subject. Which you can find here:
I Don’t Agree With Your Opinion – Plutonium Sox
Why The Public Should Never Have Voted In An EU Referendum – A Green And Rosie Life
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye... – Raisie Bay
Maybe It Won’t Be As Good As You Hoped, Maybe It Won’t Be As Bad As You Feel – Verily Victoria Vocalises
Time For The Hating To Stop – Tea Or Wine?
Is the UK leaving the EU the start of new beginnings or the beginning of the end? What are your thoughts on the UK leaving the EU?
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