Monday, June 27, 2016

European Girl

***Thanks to Independent Fashion Blogger for shortlisting this post as part of their Links à la Mode on 7th July. I'm especially pleased as it was not at all about fashion but about something that was (and still is) on my mind. Please check out the other blog posts at the bottom.***

I know I usually post fluff: pretty handbags, work outfits... Well, maybe with the exception of my appeal to not drink and drive.

But I just can't publish a covet post about a handbag after my mind has been consumed by something else all weekend. Ok, apart from little M having the 'chicken popps' and wrangling a slightly injured baby bird off our cat. [Thanks for asking: Little M is much better and the bird is with a lady who will hopefully be able to release it into the wild at some point.] Yes, that thing having consumed me all weekend was the shock of that "OUT" result on the EU Referendum on Friday morning. After tears, tantrums, denial and grieve I am just plain lost at the moment.

Not being British, I actually wasn't allowed to vote. (By the way: I came to England in 1998. Graduated in 2001 and went straight into a job. Been working full time since then - paying my taxes! Been with Mr. G for quite a few years. Had little M in 2012 and he has a British passport. So I'm feeling pretty connected and invested in this country. It's one of my two homes!) Maybe I shouldn't be saying anything. But anybody who knows me, knows that I'm really rubbish at keeping my opinion to myself. 

I understand that many of the OUT voters came from a place of frustration, from the desire of wanting to change something, anything being better than the squeeze over the past few years: erosion of public services, job security, quality of life and ever increasing divide between rich and poor have taken its toll. What I still don't understand is how these voters genuinely thought that leaving the EU would improve on this though. Well, maybe they were simply desperate to believe in something that was worth voting for - and the likes of Boris and Farage knew just how to harvest those votes. Or maybe it was just their way of sticking it to the government.

So in really simple terms, why am I so upset about the threat of Brexit?
  1. Living in England as a German might mean I will have to apply for a visa. 
  2. I might have to worry about what impact on said visa if I change or lose my job.
  3. An economical downturn will mean less job security and if my visa is tied to my job, losing my job is more likely on one hand and will have more far reaching consequences on the other hand.
  4. Mr. G works with Universities, who receive much of their funding from EU funding. Any impact on that might impact on him or his job?
  5. Master J is studying Chemistry and I would wish for him to be able to come out of university and get a job. Not to be signing on and worrying about what the future will hold.
  6. Traveling will get more expensive, be it back to Germany to visit my friends and family or anywhere else in Europe.
  7. The Pound looks to be suffering, so being elsewhere in Europe will also become more expensive.
  8. Getting across the border or through passport control at the airport is going to take so much longer.
  9. I work in food retail and being able to trade across Europe easily and freely is pretty essential. Things are going to change and become more complicated.
  10. Bringing back wine from my hometown Heppenheim won't be as easy anymore. What will be the limit? A bottle? Maybe two?
  11. Ditto any gifts after Christmas or birthdays.
  12. Buying anything from other European countries will be come more expensive, be it by retailers increasing prices or by paying customs charges. 
  13. Posting anything to other European countries will become more cumbersome: welcome customs forms!
But most of all:

My little boy won't be able to grow up in a country that is part of something bigger. A community born out of the desire to live and work together closer and in peace. And to have the same opportunities such as I had of just moving to another country, studying there, creating a life for himself where ever he wants to. His world has suddenly become an awful lot smaller. 

And that's what truly makes me sad. 

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