Brits in Europe

Since the Brexit vote, a large number of the million-odd Britons living and working in the rest of the EU has been organising on the internet either to reverse Brexit, or else to secure a ‘divorce’ settlement that won’t deprive us of our existing rights in Europe: such as reciprocal healthcare, unhindered travel between EU countries, and (I discover!) data roaming. This is one of them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/britishineurope/. There’s also a more specific ‘British in Sweden’ group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishinSweden/. They also campaign for the rights of EU nationals in Britain after Brexit. Worthy causes, both.

One of their complaints is that many expatriates weren’t given a Brexit vote, which might have affected the outcome. As could so many things: Cameron’s foolishness, the Brexiteers’ lies, general conditions in the country irrespective of the EU…. God what a mess! (My New Year’s thought.)

Whether or not these exile groups can achieve anything, I don’t know. They’ve been campaigning hard, as I understand – posting to MPs, appearing on British TV, meeting with junior ministers in Parliament and with European officials, and so on – but with their impact obviously weakened by their scattering, their distance from Westminster and their lack of any real political clout. (Brexiteers may think that their very choice to live abroad renders them/us unBritish and so not entitled to any say in events.) For me personally, however, my recent discovery of them has been a comfort. I’m not alone! We can snuggle together cosily through the trials to come – online, at least.

Anyhow: gott nytt år!

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