On Thursday, people in the UK are going to vote on whether we remain in the European Union or whether we leave, commonly known as Brexit. When I say people can vote, that doesn’t include me and the other 3 million EU citizens that are already settled in the UK, as only British citizens (and some Commonwealth ones) can vote in this referendum.
As son has just turned 18 and is a British citizen, this means that he will be allowed to vote for the first time. Oh the joy on his face when he realised what that entailed: “Dad!” he exclaimed, “We can vote Mum out!!!” Yeah well, good luck with that, first morning when you can’t find your socks and clean shirt you’ll be wishing you hadn’t!
But in all seriousness, it has made me think “What will happen to me?” if Britain decides to leave the EU. I have lived happily in Gravesend for 21 years, and I am a mum and a taxpayer. Will I now have to apply for a job permit and a residency card? Good luck with that I say, as I would like to see which government department is going to be able to cope with 3 million applications, all at once! Or maybe that is how unemployment is going to be resolved, a whole new organisation staffed by former unemployed Brits? But however cynical I am, it is possible that job permits and residency cards are going to be introduced.
Will I be required to earn a certain amount? As a family we cope financially at the moment, but that is going to be another problem for me, as I’m currently working as a freelance. Finland has just voted to introduce threshold earnings for immigrants from outside the EU, believed to be a salary of at least 2600 Euros per month. Apparently this also concerns expat Finns wanting to return to Finland, meaning that some Finnish expats whose spouses aren’t from the EU simply cannot afford to return to their home country or their families will be split up. The worst thing is, that the threshold salary might be introduced to cover ALL immigrants, including EU citizens! So I could be in a situation where I am not earning enough to stay in the UK, nor earning enough to return to Finland!
“You’ll just have to live at the airport, like in that film” hubby suggested, finding this all very amusing.
But I am not amused. It is my future we are talking about, and I am happy here. Please don’t throw me out!