We (German hubby, the rest of us – 4 at the time – dual German/British citizens) came over to Scotland in 2000. We wanted a change of scenery and to escape the rat race and also I felt nostalgia for Britain, where I had spent some time as a kid. We knew well that there would be a financial price to pay – and indeed we took a hard hit! – but a more peaceful less stressful life was going to be worth it. And it was! No regrets! We all agreed on a trial, ‘cos I was the pushing force here. If any one of us had not been happy after a year, we would have returned to Germany.
As it turned out, we all were happy enough. Poor, but happy – so much for economic migrants, take note! Hubby worked, I minded the kids, we had another addition in 2002, and we were blissfully happy.
In 2011, our année noire on a personal level, amongst other things the company hubby worked for went bankrupt due to a lot of unfortunate events including the financial crisis. Instead of joining the dole queue hubby turned self-employed, almost immediately. Much to my chagrin, I hate doing the support work, I’m more of a hands-on type. But all turned out well in the end. Until Brexit, when I went to look for a second job, almost immediately, in order to be able to save for the possibility (possible inevitability?) that we will have to leave.
In the meantime, we will have to help the chancellor finance his Brexit (which none of us voted for, hubby wasn’t even allowed a say!). Our younger lads are livid, looking to emigrate to Scandinavia – they’re already learning the languages. Superfluous to say that we are more than disappointed with the Referendum result and that anxiety, sadness, worry and just a general feeling of “this-is-no-longer-my-country” have taken over.
Although it is unlikely that we will need to leave from a legal perspective, the ‘British’ light has lost a lot of its shine for us. No longer sure we want to live in a country as closed and as inward-looking as the UK now. The only reason why I’ve not yet scarpered is the fact that Scotland voted to stay and that people here are genuinely horrified. Well, most are….
What shocks me most is the message we are giving to our European friends and neighbours, sticking two fingers up at them. And then the cherry-picking… I don’t know how the EU has managed all these years to keep a straight face and take the UK seriously.