And now what?

Regardless of the economical and financial point of view, the European Union was born to remind us that we can live in peace together. The EU is based in peace and collaboration agreements.

UK joined the EU in 1973 sharing its principles of stability, respect and prosperity. Furthermore, being part of this alliance allowed the UK citizens to work, live and travel freely all around the EU.

Until four days ago.

Four days ago UK decided to leave us, its citizens surprisingly voted for the renowned “Brexit” causing an unprecedented uncertainty on the whole EU.

There were two fact that impressed us the most regarding this decision. On the one hand, Google reported that searches for “What does it mean to leave the EU?” and “What is the EU?” peaked after the referendum. Does it mean that UK citizens did not know the consequences of their votes?    

“Many people are regretting about what they voted. They did not know the real consequences of the Brexit” – N.C Spanish expat in Oxford

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On the other hand, mostly elder people voted for the Brexit while young people voted massively to remain. Does it mean that elder people decided the future of my generation and the upcoming generations without being aware, as we previously saw, of the consequences of this decision? 

“The older generation over 50 voted mostly to leave. Most of them will be dead in time for the next generation to suffer” – G.M. Northern Irish expat in Montpellier 

And now, what’s next? What’s going to happen with Scotland and North Ireland (which massively voted to remain in the EU)?

“We will probably become independent and join our EU neighbors. We’ve just caused a recession for ourselves and upset our European neighbors” – G.W. Scotsman expat in Düsseldorf

And how will this decision affect expats? How will this vote change the way the next generations understand the freedom of movement of workers and citizens in the EU?

“No one was expecting this result in my company. They still do not know what is coming next since most of the employees are foreigners. There are trying to figure out how can they manage this situation” – N.B. Spanish expat in Manchester

One important principle of the EU is freedom of movement for workers and citizens, allowing the social and cultural enrichment of the member countries. How will this decision affect all the UK citizens living abroad? And the foreigners living in the UK? We should not forget that 1.2 million people born in UK live abroad placing the UK fifth among the EU countries for the size of their expats in other EU countries.

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“Many people are thinking about to leave England. They feel there are not welcome here right now. I will stay until they kick me out, then I will move to other european country where I feel welcome” – A.L. Spanish expat in London 

What comes next is still a mystery for all of us. While some governments stand up for a fast and immediate exit others, like the German one, are willing to concede the UK a period of time to fix all its internal emerging problems (Scottish independence?, The establishment of borders in Ireland?).

However, it is clear that something is changing in the EU: People want to feel part of the EU, people are raising their voices, they want to be listened, they want a better Europe. Then, why instead of following arising nationalism ideas do we not stay in the EU to try to change it from the inside?. As EU citizens we have the tools to express ourselves and to generate the institutional change, then let´s do it! Leaving is just the easy way, working from the inside can be tough but it is the right way.

“We can be patriots, why not? But not nationalists. Nationalism brought us many conflicts in the past. We are facing lots of problems as europeans right now, we should stay together” – O.T. Spanish expat in Köln

 

Let´s face the nationalism that tries to destabilize what our ancestors started building 70 years ago and let´s be united in this uncertain period. There are so many challenges we have to face right now as europeans… Let´s work on them together! 

“The worst part is the not economical one, as most of the people think… it is moral! We fought to be free from nationalism, and we are now allowing it to coming back in name of…freedom!” – A.B. Italian expat in Essen

Do you feel European? What is your opinion about the EU? What do you think about the UK decision? Did you vote in the referendum?  Which is your expat point of view regarding everything what is happening right now in Europe?

Share your thoughts with us! We are happy to read your opinion!

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