Brexit: what does it mean for this franglaise?

I’ve never questioned that funny colour passeport Européen of mine. Since 1987 I’ve totally taken it for granted that I don’t need a visa to live in the Dorset countryside, no sign in at the Home Office miles away in the capital city as my mother-in-law had to, pre-EU. With my British husband and our lord-knows-what-next-British-English-you-tell-me sons, we can quick hop across the Channel and say bonjour Papa. We don’t often enough, but we can.

So what happens to me and my family when the UK leaves the EU? How is that going to work?

It’s just dawned on me.

Yes I’ve been kind of wondering “mmm, what does it mean for companies that export to Europe, will the UK become closer to the US or will the US be peed off to lose a best friend at the European table? Will it be good for my farmer friends who always moan about the Frenchies because they get way more money out of the EU than British farmers do; and these damn Southern Europeans who don’t ever seem to apply the same rules?

You know, that kind of thing.

But hey, pardon my selfishness, what does it mean for me? What will happen to us Europeans this country was kind of happy to welcome up to now, for whatever reason, for marrying their Englishmen (sorry about that, there are a fair few of us), for plumbing or cleaning at fantastic value for money, for decreasing the average age of the population. And the doctors, and the nurses. OK, you get the picture.

Taking jobs too, I know. I can see the dilemma for small companies and employees, of course I do. And our living in a way-too-small-housing-stock country.

It is quite a pickle isn’t?

Thing is, I have a feeling that when it comes to the referendum it will come down to people voting on immigration quite a bit, do the opposite of what careless corporations say is the right thing to do a fair bit too, and after a year or two of a totally Tory government some people will vociferously vote against the government, because that’s what generally happens when we get a chance to get to the polls; if we bother. Just now, we have no idea what the government will do, or offer, you know, put on the voting table as such. So what will happen?

Does anybody know what we are going to say yes or no to?

What actually happens in Brussels on our European behalf?

I don’t even know if I’ll be able to vote on that referendum. Probably not if the Scottish referendum is anything to go by, but then again, Scots and British politics are two different things aren’t they? On that I bet they’ll agree.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re on a Leftie or a Tory (we know how you feel if you’re UKIP, get another pint in). If you try and get any sense of the EU in the papers, it’s overwhelmingly bad news, gloomy stories of invasion and red tape. All those bloody Brussels (and stupendously silly Strasbourg) paper shufflers, all these frightfully foreign Eurocrats, that incomprehensible troika that seems to rule an unruly continent crumbling under the weight of euro-scepticism. Sigh.

Pardon my Franglais but I love all my foreign friends who have married Englishmen, our mixed blood and mixed culture children who feel British but know not what to think of Britishness, I love the Erasmus programme that gets kids to travel within Europe, I enormously relish that I went to Germany as a child and would never think of Germans as enemies. I so want to keep that. I so don’t want to ever think of other Europeans as enemies. Please can we keep what Europe has built. However imperfect it is. Can we build a better Europe rather than get rid of the good it has brought?

Well, I can’t be the only one in a wondering state of mind about Brexit. Do please get in touch if you have any answers to any of my questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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