Well they have gone and done it! The United Kingdom has left the European Economic Union, flags, banners and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and all….
And now it’s all about a deal or no deal on conditions. And however, long that will take to sort out no one knows! If ever?
Saw all these people parading about in front of the Houses of Parliament, dressed in Union Jacks celebrating. Fair enough, but is there a lot to celebrate? Is there really?
With Johnson not wanting to co-operate in any way whatsoever about any form of deal, it’s a Hard Brexit then?
I was absolutely flabbergasted when I saw the News on TV later about a family of Brits living here in The Netherlands. Their two sons were born here, but all four members of the family, all having UK passports and wondering what the consequences might be?
What damned planet have they been living on I wonder, that this question comes up now? There has been so much in the news and the local authorities here (IND = Immigration Office) have been sending out letters for a long time, saying more or less that they did not know what the consequences would be, hard or soft, Brexit or no Brexit.
This was something I sorted out personally last year 2019. In April to be exact. I became a Dutch citizen, as I live here too. It is called a Naturalization Ceremony and many of you will remember a blog I wrote about this. I was on TV too, was surprised how many people actually saw it. But it was fun, and the most important thing was that no matter what happened with Brexit, I could live on here with my family in The Netherlands.
Sure, it cost something to do it all. But was it worth it? Definitely. Why? Well, because of the constant growing stream of immigrants, any fool can say that The Netherlands is pretty full up now and we are reaching our quota. At the time I actually had visions of being sent back to the UK or having to take part in the courses to learn the ways and language of the Dutch. Ludicrous, but that still happens, perhaps I would have been giving the course myself, as I speak and write the language fluently!!
But come on other British nationals living here. What have you been doing for the past few months? Any idiot could have worked out that with Boris Johnson at the helm and re-elected as well, that a narcissist like him would go all the way to get Brexit a done deal, at any cost. And why were you sitting on your laurels and not thinking about the consequences? Just hoping the whole drama would blow away like a gust of wind?
But now is panic time. What if you cannot stay? Well time to do something about it then and get naturalized. And where have you been all this time and not getting on with it?
But enough about the British nationals in Europe. There are other Europeans in England too, so what is the consequence for them as well?
One thing for sure is that Brexit will mean loss of jobs and more problems in the UK. A lot of firms have already moved their headquarters to Europe. Or places even further away like Dyson (not only having had a governmental grant to set up their business to start with) but they have gone to Singapore! Cheeky!
There will be job loss too in the sectors where a lot of export happens in Europe. Like garden produce for example. Same applies to the import of tomatoes, cucumbers and paprikas from The Netherlands to the UK. And fresh flowers too. Now all of this will be caught up in much more control between borders and no free trade agreement. What about fishing rights too, fishermen who will no longer be allowed to fish freely in the zone?
I often ask myself how well have people thought about the consequences. I never ever felt that the idea of a ‘united states’ of Europe would ever work even though it is handy when it comes to currency and all having the same Euro. The easy borders and of course the trade between countries who are members. I will never understand the differences for example in health care insurance between The Netherlands (one of the most expensive) of nearly Euro 160 per person per month with an own risk of Euro 385 per year compared to Belgium our neighboring country for goodness sake! of Euro 15 per person per month, no own risk. As far as I know. And excellent health care in Belgium to boot.
No wonder everyone is so fed up with the EEC story. The prices of petrol, gas and diesel are so different between The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, often up to 0,30 cts per liter. In Belgium slightly more. No wonder people who live close to borders think its advantageous to tank up elsewhere which in the end affects the pump holders here in The Netherlands.
Yes, I think it is time for a shake up in the EEC. Less huge salaries and expenses for members. One parliament in one country and not constantly going from Brussels to Strasbourg, creating even more fictive expenses. There is some good in the EEC idea, but a lot of things that should be brought into line, including the differences in taxes for starters.
But Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves, Britains’ never ever will be slaves.
They are out now! But at what cost long term?