What Does Brexit Mean for EU residents in the UK?

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This morning we found out that the UK has voted 52% to 48 % to leave the European Union, shocking the world and revealing a divided country. Now, why do I even care and why you should care, regardless of living in or outside of the UK?

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I’ve lived in the UK for an extensive period of time since 2009. Give or take, I’ve probably spent around 4 years in London, my business is registered there and that’s where I always go back to for business, health and social purposes. Well, that’s where I used to go back to, but due to this quick change of events I’m not sure if it’s going to be possible anymore.CBR0saGWsAAp9TD

While people already started calling for another referendum and hope for delaying the exit, and while a Brexit vote, however, does not represent that formal notification the EU already expressed their thoughts. Donald Tusk stated that the UK should “give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty”. Having studied international law and international relations I’m not surprised by this statement of the EU, especially after David Cameron resigned from the office this morning.

Why did Britain vote in favor of Brexit?

First of all, there are still many people out there who believe in promises made by politicians. Nigel Farage, one of the main leaders of pro-exit, said today that 350 mln pounds that was meant to go to the NHS instead of being spent on the EU (which was the key point of the campaign), isn’t actually going to be sent there.

But wait, that’s not even the worst part. Hours after voting closed, starting from about 1 a.m., Google reported that searches for “what happens if we leave the EU” and “what’s the EU” is the second top UK question. Also, many Britons said that they’d like to take back their vote which makes things even more sad. Clearly, many people had no clue about what was this referendum all about. Young people even reached to cats for help in a hilarious twitter campaign #CatsAgainstBrexit , but it still didn’t convince people to learn what would they be loosing by leaving the EU.

The pro-exist campaign also called that foreigners will stop “crossing their land for economic advancement and steal their jobs”. However, the question that really needs to be asked here is: what was Britain doing for hunderds of years colonising foreign lands? It seems that everyone ignores this small fact. If the arguments to leave the EU aren’t racist and xenophobic, then I don’t know what is, especially considering that 1.2 million Brits are living in other EU countries.

Bullying after the Brexit referendum already started as they’re reported cases as the Daily Mail reported, “laminated cards reading ‘Leave the EU – no more Polish vermin’ delivered” and it’s just a start of such events. While the country is divided and lots of people don’t share these xenophobic views, soon Europe might become anti-British if these events don’t stop happening. The idea of unification created by the European Union has just been broken by Great Britain.

Moreover, I’d like to see how all the ‘cheap workers’ in the UK would be replaced by British nationals. How likely would a British citizen work, for instance, at Primark for 5 GBP per hour, compared to an immigrant for whom this salary is more than satisfying? As a student in the UK I often worked in hospitality and almost never met any British person working with me. Why? They thought the wage wasn’t enough and British bosses were glad they could pay less than they’d have to pay their own nationals.

The British favorite saying claiming the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has been damaged – media headlines say. However, when I looked at my Facebook newsfeed this morning I haven’t seen any pro-exit posts. In contrary, everyone seemed to be terrified. The Brexit summarized in a graph published by media is truly distrubing. Basically, the older generation (50+) voted for a future that young people simply do not want. Hence the leadership of young people didn’t seem to play the most significant part here.
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How will Brexit affect tourism?

It’s true that the pound has fallen by a lot compared with normal daily fluctuations. Various hotels already refused to exchange British pounds and stock markets are going insane. The truth is the economic consequences will be bad, Brexit will make Britain poorer, and as a result it’ll be cheaper to travel to the UK. Being said that you can already see a funny campaign by Ryanair “See no Europe, hear no Europe” offering cheap tickets from the UK.

Speaking of airlines, UK passport holders or those leaving to and from British airports, won’t be eligible for any compensation in the event of disruption for airline passengers, as they won’t be under the protection of EU law anymore. Another tangible benefit for EU consumers has been the squeeze on the excessive roaming charges levied by mobile phone companies, which UK mobile companies will not be able to provide anymore.

The truth is we don’t know how the process of Brexit plays out. But I’m not going to discuss the economic crisis caused by the UK to leave the EU any further. As a non-British person, but a worried resident of the UK, let’s discuss the issue below:

What will happen to expats already living in the UK?

The truth is, we don’t know. It will take years for the full consequences to become clear. Media are speculating about everyone needing to leave the UK soon. Others say that those who are already in the UK and have NI (National Insurance number) will be allowed to remain in the country.

Will you be able to move to the UK after they leave the EU? Noone knows, but according to the news probably not. It’s possible that Britain could negotiate a new treaty with the EU that continues to allow free movement between the UK and the EU. But resentment of EU immigrants — especially from poorer, economically struggling countries like Poland, Romania and Lithuania — was a key force driving support for Brexit. As a result the British government will be under immense pressure to refuse to continue the current arrangement, despite of the statement of the Mayr of London Sadiq Khan: 
“I want to send a clear message to every European resident living in London – you are very welcome here. As a city, we are grateful for the enormous contribution you make, and that will not change as a result of this referendum. There are nearly one million European citizens living in London today, and they bring huge benefits to our city – working hard, paying taxes, working in our public services and contributing to our civic and cultural life. We all have a responsibility to now seek to heal the divisions that have emerged throughout this campaign – and to focus on what unites us, rather than that which divides us.”

What are your throughts on Brexit?

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8 Comments

  1. Jun 24, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Interesting, and enlightening. And, in 6 months America could elect Trump. What’s next?!?
    A much different posts than all the pretty places with the red-headed girl in them.
    Like the Brit’s, I had not paid much attention to this issue. TODAY, seem like the dollar : pound difference makes a vacation there seem a better bargain.

    • Jun 24, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Different meaning better or worse? 😉

      • Jun 26, 2016 / 12:35 am

        Different, meaning not “typical” or in the tone of your “fun” posts. This is not good or bad, or better or worse. In our business lives we sometimes find a topic, cause, or political candidate that we have an OPINION about. And we share it. I applaud your willingness to put yourself out there in this manner. It may offend some – but ultimately it is what makes you, YOU. So…. in terms of your blog. BETTER. When you occasionally divert to a topic, like this, it humanizes you and your blog, and shows you are a real person…..

  2. Jun 24, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    I am a UK citizen, but emigrated to New Zealand in December – so I am a resident of New Zealand. Unfortunately due to a delayed house sale, myself and my partner still have a significant amount of money in our UK bank account – the plummet in the GBP overnight has caused to us to effectively lose a huge amount of money. We think we will have to leave our cash in the UK for the time being (which we really cannot afford to do as we are taking on a business in New Zealand and need money to purchase the assets) and wait until the GBP rate *hopefully* recovers – but its anyones guess when it will recover to pre referendum levels.

    I also wish to point out that myself and my partner have worked very hard for the money that we currently have sat in a UK bank account (we have by no means been given money by rich parents), and we are devastated that a huge amount has been wiped off our asset overnight.

    Whilst I am obviously bitter about the plummet in the pound, I feel as though the majority of those that voted out, did so because of ‘immigration’…and from a racist point of view, rather than basing their view on facts. It appears that the majority of people in Britian believe that immigrants all come to the UK to claim benefits rather than work, although the facts are that the opposite is true – immigrants bring in more money for the UK than they take from it. Perhaps Britian should solve its problems with its own people before looking to immigrants – I know alot of brits that think they are too good for minimum wage jobs, yet sit at home on their bums having kids and watching jeremy kyle.

  3. Paul Skidmorw
    Jun 25, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and a right to vote whatever way they want and I respect that. But what I dont respect is how badly and ungraciously the remain side are taking this defeat – All I see on Facebook and News sites is people bitching and scaremongering. Yes the pounds value has dropped (As it was expected by both brexit and remain) – It is already rising again so no issue there – The record drop was simply due to Knee-Jerk Reactions from the greedy traders in the stock and currency market who wanted to try and make a profit from this time of uncertainty. And as for having to re-negotiate trade agreements, I have seen news articles stating that this is hapening already and we have countries wanting to hold talks – Another good sign. Why would countries who trade with the UK suddenly want to stop because we are leaving the EU? They still need our services, they still need our exports – Its simple supply and demand. We have some of the best financial services in the world, why would countries and international businesses want to go elsewhere?

    I agree that we need skilled workers and we need a steady influx of foreign employment – This has been done for years and is important to our economy and things like the NHS with doctors etc. I think what people are more concerned about regarding “immigration” is the large influx of potential migrants coming from countries like Syria – Yes these people need help, but there has to be some form of control – Europe (And certainly the UK) does not have unlimited space and our econimies cannot cope with the strain. I feel that the main objective should be to tackle the issue as to why these refugees are fleeing their homeland in the first place – Something has to be done to help stabalize that region and bring peace – Mass immigration is simply not the answer and THIS is what a lot of people are scared of – They feel the EU has lost control and that something has to change, surely thats understandable?

    As for people having to leave the country immediately I think thats total rubbish – Why is everyone suddenly painting the UK to be this horrifically racsist place whos people want only pure UK born nationals living there? Thats just not true!

    I am not going to be taken in by news articles and media scaremongering – I will judge weather we made the right decision when I see cold hard facts and the long tern impact. As it stands today, my life is exactly the same as it was on Thursday the 23rd of June – I still have a job, I still have my savings, I can still buy euros at a decent exchange rate despite what the news would have people think, I can still go to the shops and buy groceries or things like toiletries at a reasonable price despite the news claiming that the pound has collapsed and the end of the world is coming. I still basically have the exact same life as I did before the Referendum result as im sure 99% of the UK population does too. Why all the hate? Why all the doom and gloom? The voting public has made a decision so instead of all this negativity I believe the UK needs to stand together and now figure out what needs to be done to stabalize our nation in this time of change.

    • Rebecca Jackson
      Jul 6, 2016 / 4:49 am

      Whoops, you’re wrong. July 5 – The pound is down to 1.28 to the USD. It’s going to get uglier.

      • Jul 6, 2016 / 5:10 am

        Don’t even remind me 🙁

  4. Jun 26, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    I think this is a very unsettling time for expats – both those who have moved to the UK from other parts of Europe, and the Brits that have moved from the UK to Europe. I am the latter. I have just signed a contract for a job in Slovakia, and now have to wait and see how things might, or might not be affected.

    My beliefs put me in the ‘Remain’ party; I was stunned by the result, and I am afraid of what will happen next, but I think it does need to be clarified that there are legitimate reasons for people wanting to leave that were nothing to do with immigration. I am in Cornwall right now, an area that was very much a ‘Leave’ majority because of the way the farmers and fisherman have suffered for many years under EU regulations. Immigration was certainly not a factor for them (in fact, many of them here are Irish immigrants). I have some friends who voted ‘Leave’ – although the majority were ‘Remainers’ – and they can argue eloquently, factually and intelligently why they have done so, and these are people who are not racists and want to help immigrants. It is horrifying that Farage and co – encouraged at every step by our vile media – drove the racist agenda, and that too many people were swayed by that, but we can’t simply assume that all ‘Leave’ voters want immigrants out of the UK.

    As for the difference in generational voting, I know many older people feel ‘duped’ that the EU has changed since it was originally voted in – they feel that they did not vote it in in its current form and that they don’t like what it has become. Perhaps this explains the discrepancy between old and young voters, as the young do not have 40 years’ history to base their decision on – but each are equally entitled to their say. Yes, the future belongs to the younger generation, but our parents got us there in the first place. I don’t believe many would vote maliciously to screw up their own childrens’ futures.

    I don’t even know what to say about the people who were voting without knowing what the EU is – how stupid 🙁

    All I wish now is that we can find some way to heal the huge rift that has divided our land, and find some kind of solution to the mess that has been created.

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