Well, it’s been a punch in the balls waking up in the morning yesterday and seeing the #Brexit poll results. 17 million people want out of the EU, 16 millions want to stay in the EU. Brits wanna leave, they voted to leave, they never thought it was going to happen, but it did.
Well, now they are going to live with the consequences. Even though theoretically a poll like this is not legally binding, turning around and saying that it don’t count would make Scotland vote again (even if they are definitely going to vote again next year to Stay in the EU despite Britain).
UK will become a small and negligeable country, surrounded by other countries they cannot trade with, needing passports and visas to travel again abroad and having the pound sterling value less than before. I even saw it on the Romanian markets – a sting drop from 5.9 lei to 5.6 lei and going down by the hour.
So what will we, EU citizens who are not yet Brits, do in the UK after finding out that they REALLY don’t want us here? They are more nationalist than I thought and for me, for example, I started having my doubts even about my co-workers which seemed fine until Friday. I was greeted at work with the lovely “Game of Thrones” “Shame!” bell and asked “What are you still doing here?” Fuckers.
Well, as any well standing Romanian, I will only go when I want and not when I’m told 🙂
The exit from the EU will happen slowly as a lot of legal documents will have to be dis-entangled from the EU policies that have been embedded in them. This can take years (at least two I suppose). And they will tackle first the most important aspects:
- Financial markets (which have been crashing since Friday)
- Food markets (all of a sudden, brits will have to deal with their own produce as imports will become prohibitively expensive)
- Immigration (that is the biggest one to tackle) – basically stopping people from coming in (from Callais and other parts) and then getting slowly rid of people already living here
Now, the funny thing is, the French warned that in case of a Brexit, they will release the Kraken – meaning all the Syrian refugees which have been staying in the Callais Jungle. They will let them free, take them all the way to the British borders and let the Brits deal with them.
The French authorities had warned before the referendum that a vote for leaving the EU could see a camp with thousands of migrants being moved from Calais to British soil.
EU Brexit referendum: France’s Calais seeks border deal changes
For the nearly 3 million EU citizens already living in Britain, they will be probably requested to get a visa to live in England and another one to work in England. Failure to do so will result in Deportation (which is another cost that the voting people were not informed of).
Some confusion is understandable, as during the campaign the opposing sides said very different things.
“There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK,” it said, promising on its website that such people would “automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present”.
Restoring public trust in immigration policy – a points-based non-discriminatory immigration system
But equally unequivocal was the remain side, which warned that:
“all current EU citizens here would lose their automatic right to come and work in the UK. This means that living and working in the UK would be significantly more difficult after a leave vote for EU citizens, and is likely to involve restrictions and barriers in the form of permits, visas or other costs and bureaucracy”.
I understand that the desire is to create the Australian-style points-based system again and immediately get rid of unwanted citizens (like thieves and terrorists “and other persons whose presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good”).
The automatic right of all EU citizens to come to live and work in the UK will end, as will EU control over vital aspects of our social security system.
So this means we might need to get a visa to work soon. I wonder how much it will cost? And how big the pressure on the HMRC would be to create easy systems that will be fair to all and still remove the tons of bureaucracy needed. I can see massive waiting lists for receiving a visa and people not being able to work until then. Unless they go to the black market and then face expulsion.
So, I had a hard look at my finances and what I need to do. If this entire thing takes 2 years to implement, I’m safe-ish as I’m within the Citizenship granting period and I can choose to be a British citizen and stay. If the country goes south during the next 2 years, I probably wouldn’t see any reason to stay in Britain anymore and might decide to move back home to Romania or emigrate to another English-speaking country like Ireland, Scotland or Australia, New Zealand.
In reality the rights of EU citizens living in the UK are not guaranteed and will now be part of the negotiation with Europe.
There is a problem though – I just bought a house in the UK. So I will probably see the property prices plummeting down and an increase in the bank lending fees making my future mortgage nearly unbearable. So I can see how it goes and sell the property after 2 years or cut my losses now and not sign anything, cancel the house purchase which is still ongoing and pay the poor seller a nominal fee for my pulling back. Hmmm. Way to screw over my finances, #Brexit.
New arrivals might soon face stricter residency requirements, particularly if Britain imposes similar criteria on incoming EU nationals, and it is likely that existing expats, too, would at the very least face new administrative arrangements, possibly including residency and work permits, even higher property taxes.
I don’t think I’m the only one with an eye out for immigration out of the UK. And have a look at how many Brits are living abroad! They will have to get visas too!