It seems like it only took a few minutes before the British ex-pats in Spain started to react in horror to the result of the referendum held in the UK in late June – look at that, they said: the bloody British electorate have ditched us.
We may not be Falkland Islanders, but we had still expected a slight bit of concern from our fellow-Brits trapped over there in the xenophobic atmosphere of 21st Century UK. After all, we did put in our time there alongside them at one point (before a sensible and well-planned exit to a far better place to live). We still have our British accents, our British pride and our British passports - although it looks like, in the not too distant future, only our accents will remain.
Well, they were and we are stuck here in Spain (or Germany, or France etc) without a lifeline. We can hardly sell up and go ‘back’. Firstly, the high price of a home over in the UK would have us all ending up living in protected housing in Anglesey. Secondly, who on earth would want to live in a society that appears to be inspired by the early days of Nazi Germany?
They’ll have people wearing triangles on their jackets within a year.
So, over in Europe, we British ex-pats are in shock. Will the new British Prime Minister start laying new rules on the Europeans living in the United Kingdom? Work permits perhaps, or special new registration, or visas or quotas, or even, in certain cases (penury would be an obvious example), deportation? We worry because the European authorities, with their affronted electorate’s insistence, would do the same to us.
We have learned that we are little more than pawns in the politics of ‘Brexit’.
But remember this London: you really don’t want one and a half million indignant ex-pats all being sent back to your tender care. Imagine the reaction of your home-grown Nazi groups and their critical posts on Facebook!
Over in Europe, the ex-pats have formed a number of protest groups. Let us work together with the local governments, say some, or let us ask for a sense of reason from the British authorities, or let us search for protection from the ‘Brexit’ from the European leaders in Brussels.
Coverage of the ex-pats and their concerns has never rated column-inches in the highly partisan British media, but in Spain for example a group called ‘Europats’ has already featured in articles in El Mundo and Almería Hoy (here and here). Another, ‘Brexpats in Spain’, is introduced in La Vanguardia (here).
A full list of ex-pat groups against the Brexit can be found here.
From another age, from another fall-out with those who no longer wanted to be British, a quote: “The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am Not A Virginian, But An American!”― Patrick Henry.
Friends, I am a European.