After two horrific world wars, that decimated both my country and my family I was brought up with a deep love for the European Peace Project. I grew up to become a real anglophile and arrived in Britain at the age of 20 with the very first Erasmus exchange in 1984.
Next time I read ‘get rid of all EU foreigner scum’ on a Facebook page (not that I go on these very often but they do exist), I remember that my mother is still taking English lessons after my 30 years in the UK, just so she can speak to my husband whose French is sketchy at best.
I don’t feel at home anymore…
I’ve been settled in Britain for 31 years, but I don’t feel at home anymore.
I’ve been married to a Brit for 27 years and I have British children. But… as the rules stand, I don’t qualify for Permanent Residency and settled status because I don’t meet the Home Office criteria.
I doubt Brexit will have a significant impact on my material life. But in the extreme case of a hard Brexit, where bargaining-chip tactics prevail and then go awry, I could be forced to close my consulting business here, leave my three French kids and my French girlfriend.
In September 1987 I came to London to work as a Language Assistant. I immediately liked the ancestral land of my mother’s lineage (being Breton, my mother’s family came from here many centuries ago). They were Celts persecuted by Angles, Saxons, Danes and Jutes – my people already persecuted here so long before I was born. I think I’m starting to understand now a few decades after my arrival why my maternal ancestors left. This land episodically has a xenophobic phase.
I am a black French national. I have been in the UK for twenty years, married to a Brit for nearly sixteen. I trained and qualified as a midwife here and practiced until before my last pregnancy. I have lived in the south-east of England for nearly sixteen years.