EU, UK and French flags

I am: still European

Thursday will go down in history as day that changed Europe – but not for the better. The consequences of this referendum will be felt not just in the UK for many years to come but in the rest of Europe too.

Already it is having an impact. Sterling has crashed to a 30-year low and £122 billion has been wiped off the FTSE. Overnight, Britain fell from having the fifth largest economy in the world to the sixth, behind France.

Damon and I were at the count in Brighton and Hove on Thursday. Representing the Stronger In campaign, we watched as the ballot papers were counted, separated into Remain and Leave piles and then counted again. I’m pleased to say that the city voted by 69% to remain.

On the TV screens, however, we could see a different story unfolding elsewhere in the country. Ignorance and intolerance won the day.

What does the out vote mean for our future plans? Perhaps it’s too early to say.

One of the most likely options for the UK is to adopt a Norwegian or Swiss-style relationship with the EU. What voters don’t yet realise, I suspect, is that this option involves continuing to pay into the EU budget, accepting free movement of people and adopting trade rules that we have had no say in. Frankly, I can’t see how that’s better than what we had.

However, at least it will mean Damon and I can carry on preparing for our move to France. Failing that, Damon might be able to apply for Irish nationality, because one set of his grandparents were Irish, so he can still be an EU citizen.

“We were at the count in Brighton and Hove on Thursday. I’m pleased to say that the city voted by 69% to remain”

What does it mean for our British friends who live in France? What happens to their rights to healthcare, for example? Certainly, they will feel the pinch of the falling pound in their purses. They must be very concerned for the future.

Worse, Thursday night’s result has emboldened other far-right figures in Europe. In France, for example, Marine Le Pen has called for Frexit.

A snowballing lurch to the far right is a worry for humanity the world over.

This entry was published on Saturday, 25 June 2016 at 09:31. It’s filed under News and politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “I am: still European

  1. Spot on
    We will have to wait and see. We are already affected by dip in pound/euro exchange. The joys of a knife edge budget project!
    Right now, I am just about reday to give up

  2. ..methinks ..when we get to France.. Will apply for French citizenship.. Like Dick and Pegg.. And I think Jenny’s next move…I have already signed the petition for another referendum as in Eu law there needed to be a higher turn out!

  3. It doesn’t scare me as much that a far right ignoramus is running for President in our country but that I live next door and am surrounded by people who think that bigotry, shooting masses of people, and stupid political decisions around the world are perfectly okay. Good luck to you both in overcoming all the obstacles that Brexit has thrown up.

  4. There are many British here in France really worried. WE live here too, it is worrying, but I don’t think we should be panicking yet. No one knows what is going to happen. I cannot see that anyone here before the referendum will be kicked out, I cannot see they will take away our right to healthcare, because then the UK can do the same to all the French in London, there are more French there than there are British in France. I say we should remain positive, enjoy our French lifestyles and the reason we live here, be grateful for our French friends and for the time being just wait and see what happens.

  5. martyneumeier on said:

    As Americans and part-time France residents, we worry that a swing to the right will mean more hostility, more inequality, and less mobility for everyone. The costs, at least viewed from the cheap seats outside the UK, may be much higher and more perverse than immediately seen.

    Did you get the sense the population was surprised by the Leave decision? We were stunned. We felt vaguely betrayed, since we’re battling Trump and his vision of erecting a wall to keep the “rapists” out and the white people in. He’s a big fan of Brexit, and now claims it as a victory for his side. As you may remember from the Blair-Bush years, the Brits have an outsized effect on US politics.

    We worry that Brexit will not only be bad for Dordogne property values, but for the spirit of internationalism in general. That spirit is one of the themes in our book BEGINNING FRENCH. We’ll continue to advocate for it.

  6. I agree. A desperately sad day. We were in Germany when the result was announced (having voted Remain by post). All around us were stunned and saddened. A group of lads hugged us and asked why? We had no answer.

  7. Every week the news seems to get worse.We were devastated by the result, but it’s not going to stop us realising our plans for moving to France on a more permanent basis. If anything, we are even more set on escaping the madness that is happening in the UK. I fear though that the infection is more widespread.

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