Brexit – A letter to Theresa May from an EU Citizen

A brilliant open letter to Theresa May from a fellow EU citizen
Life in the UK for EU citizens…January 2017. January 18, 2017 // 0
How do I feel ? Tired, very tired. Tired of  worrying, tired of living in limbo, tired of hearing ,albeit well meaning, Brits telling me ‘ You will be fine. Don’t worry ! Nothing will change for you. You may have to apply for a visa , but that’s it ! And you have a half British daughter and a British partner too – nothing will happen to you !’ .

I wish it was that simple ! The future of EU citizens in the UK is still very much uncertain. There are various speculations about what may and may not happen, but let’s be clear about the facts here…there are no facts, there are no reassurances. Prior to the referendum , we all thought that after 5 years of living in the UK, we’d all be automatically eligible for Permanent Residence, because that is what we were told. Little did we know that when seeking confirmation of our Permanent Residence, that many of us, a whole 30% of us in fact, would be refused Permanent Residence. There was this little know issue of CSI , something that all students and stay-at-home mothers must have in order to be exercising their treaty rights.  I read just today that an 18 year old man born and raised in Britain to Italian parents was refused Permanent Residence as he is a student and does not have CSI ! For crying out loud…No one was informed about this !  Others were turned down for other reasons, reasons that really does not make any sense at all. I contacted the Home Office under the Freedom Of Information act in order to get a breakdown of the reasons of why my native Swedes for example, have the highest refusal rate of all EU applications applying for Permanent Residence. But this information could not be provided.

How do you think it feels to be refused Permanent Residence ?  It is beyond devastating . Many people turned down has lived in the UK for decades , they have British children and British spouses.

‘ But they are safe !’ I hear you say.

No, they are not !

Being the parent of a British child, or being married to a Brit makes no difference whatsoever in the eyes of the law. The stress, worry and anxiety that these people are feeling about theirs and their family’s future has such a detrimental effect on their health and their lives, and that of their family’s too. Children are asking their mum or dad if Mummy or Daddy will have to leave the country. Couples are having to re-think their whole lives and their futures, just in case they will be forced to leave.

I recollect a German lady visiting Germany with her family, enquiring what help may be available to her and her British husband and children, should they have to re-locate to Germany, and I was so touched by the response they received. They were told that there was a whole support network set up to help Germans returning to Germany, including free Skype German lessons to her British husband as well as any support that they could possibly need, should they decide to make that move. But for those who do not have the option to move for very valid reasons, they have to live with
that stress of knowing that they do not have an option. They don’t see why they should have to uproot their family and move to their native country that they left perhaps decades ago ,especially not if their partner and children are British and cannot speak another language.

I belong in that latter category myself. I have a half British teen born and raised in the UK who is choosing her GCSE’s, she’s excelling at school, all her friends are here, her father is here, and she can’t speak any Swedish.  My partner is half British/Half Italian, and his business, just as mine, is here in the UK. Our lives are here ! But now the cloud that is hanging over us is ‘ Will my Permanent Residence application be successful ? What will we do if it’s not ?’ .

I am trying to put this worry to the back of my mind as the outcome of the application is not something that I can control. But sometimes that is easier said than done. Especially when I hear of people who applied for Permanent Residence after me are getting their applications approved in record time !

Then there is the xenophobia that has become all the more evident since the referendum. The closet racists have all come out of their closets, thinking they are entitled to air their inflammatory views in public  ,as after all, all the headlines in ‘The Daily Mail’, ‘The Sun’ and ‘ The Express’ has made it perfectly acceptable to do so , in their eyes. It’s not just EU citizens being affected, not at all, but immigrants from every corner of the globe. If you are not born and bred British, then you don’t belong here, is the message that is given out. I am well aware that only a small minority share those hateful views, but that minority is loud. A Danish man had the rear windscreen of his car smashed in, he had his garden wall smashed in, litter and dog poo thrown into his garden and rotten cheese on his door handle by a xenophobic neighbour. A Spanish woman suffered a barrage of racial abuse from another customer when popping into the chemist to collect her prescription, being told that she is a burden on the NHS and should go home to her own country. EU workers are being told by their colleagues to ‘ Go home !’. Then we have  certain employers, landlords, letting agents etc. asking for proof of Permanent Residence.

Britain is still in the E.U ,and for the next 2 years at least, everything remains unchanged ! But people act as if though that fact is irrelevant. This is the life in the UK for EU citizens today. We contribute 2.7 billion annually to the British economy. We are just like you, but we are not treated like you.

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6 thoughts on “Brexit – A letter to Theresa May from an EU Citizen

  1. You wrote all of this yourself, Opher.
    It’s got you written all over it, tight down to the newspapers – which were a bit of a give away.

    How duplicitous of you.

    • Really?
      That is so daft it’s untrue. I have no need to pretend to be someone else Andrew. How silly of you. I think your imagination is running away with you.

      • Andrew sometimes you are so stupid.
        The letters and posts I put up all came from my friend Cathy who is appalled by Brexit and the attitude of arrogant Brexiteers. She is the person you were so rude about. And you and Anna illustrated the pompous, arrogant, uncaring, thoughless and nasty attitude that has caused so much hurt, fear and upset.
        She and her husband came round for a meal. We watched Trump in all his rudeness and divisiveness and she was talking about the effects of Brexit on her family and how upset she was by it. She told me how she had written to May and joined forums where she had heard the most heart-rending stories.
        We were discussing what needed to be done to reunite the country. I suggested putting the stuff out on my blog so that people could understand the upset, anguish and fear that has been unleashed by the Brexit vote.
        What I got back from you and Anna was more of the same callous, uncaring shit that has caused the division and problems.
        The two of you made nasty comments about Cathy and demonstrated the arrogance and vitriol that is promoting the hatred in the country.
        I did not write the letters and I do not give a fuck whether you believe me or not. You are a complete blinkered individual who selects exactly what you want to believe and disregards the rest. Your problem not mine.
        You two should be ashamed. There is no excuse for arrogant rudeness.

      • No Opher, sometimes you’re a stupid wee contrary liar.
        You’ve been caught out before.
        I couldn’t give 2 fucks for your friend “Cathy” or whatever her name was. Whoever wrote this crap is retarded, sub-educational and in need of at least a sedative.
        Just because she’s a so-called friend does not ever equate to an instant granting of respect for her.
        I can’t care about every moron like this example. I have nothing to do with them in life. I had nothing to do with them and I’m not going to start either.
        There’s one on every park bench.
        So what?
        What do you expect me to do? Take them into my home and give them dinner?
        I feel sorry for them. Life must be a terrible ordeal for them.
        I sometimes wonder how they get through it.

      • What a gentleman. Exuding love, compassion, empathy and understanding. Or is this outpouring of rudeness aimed at me or Cathy? A burst of ridiculous childish vitriol aimed at someone who is more qualified and intelligent than you and has spent her life doing a more worthwhile job than you at a high level than you. What gives you the arrogant right to judge and pigeon-hole with such vindictiveness? You haven’t a clue.

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