In May, I asked three British citizens living in Austria in favour of the UK leaving the EU for their thoughts about the referendum and also how things would be if the UK were to decide to leave the EU. Two replied back then, and now six months down the road, I asked them to say how they feel the situation has changed, how they found out the news etc. The first response came from a Briton living in Western Austria – their previous response to some questions I set is here. I also welcomed their comments on the situation in the Austrian Presidential election and the US Presidential election. The first response is here.
A post in the “The 48%”, a Facebook group of Remain supporters, popped up from another Briton in Austria earlier in the autumn, who had just arrived at the decision to choose to naturalise as an Austrian citizen, in so doing of course having to renounce his UK citizenship. Since contact with him, I have also made contact to other UK citizens in Austria within the group, and weighed up our collective plights. Continue reading “A question of citizenship”
Four months down the line, I’ve given the blog a small makeover – and will be looking forward not back…
The original tagline of this blog addressed my disenfranchisement as a Briton who had lived outside the United Kingdom for over 15 years and had look his democratic right to vote – it was “The view of a British citizen ineligible to vote in the UK Referendum on EU membership”.
In the aftermath, I rapidly confined the blog to mothballs as the Referendum had been and gone, even if the aftermath will rumble on for years. A comment on my Facebook page for the blog commented that the blog looked somewhat funereal – and that I might like to give it a makeover and focus on the ongoing situation. Four months on, I decided that the time is right to move the blog on, buoyed somewhat with the 50,000 reads it has attracted so far.
Recently I have had some contact with others planning on taking Austrian citizenship – from talking with them, I have realised that I have to take the pragmatic approach and not hope for some seemingly ever more slim chance of waking up from a bad dream that the UK has decided not to push forward for Brexit, with Boris Johnson as our Foreign Minister under Theresa May as Prime Minister. The one small mercy is that the treacherous Michael Gove is no longer a cabinet minister.
On Friday, 7 October, there was a monumental announcement from the cabinet office, namely that the 15 year rule, which was the rule that had prevented me and countless others from voting in the UK Referendum on Membership of the EU, would be ditched and that there would be “votes for life” for Britons abroad. Continue reading “The removal of the “15-year rule” – a case of too little too late”
The four million signature petition is debated in parliament. Only two MPs mention the uncertainty of UK citizens living in the EU.
The petition that got 4,000,000+ signatures was debated in parliament. MPs seemed unanimous that a second referendum was not a valid consideration – John Penrose coining the term of a “neverendum”. Continue reading “5 September – Parliamentary debate on “the petition” and Austria’s ongoing presidential run-off omnishambles”
To fellow Brits in Vienna – remain strong – and if anyone is feeling alone and bewildered, get in touch.
Last evening I saw a brief video clip from HM British Embassy here in Vienna – with a very brief statement by the Ambassador, who is due to conclude her term here very soon. The video was published through the Embassy’s Facebook account, and was released yesterday. Continue reading “Reflections following a brief statement from the British Ambassador to Austria”
I went to bed early on Thursday to make sure that I could watch the coverage of the results towards the ‘business end’ of the count. At 4am I woke up, and upon looking at my phone, headed to the sitting room to watch the coverage on BBC News. Slowly but surely with a Lagavullin in my hand the ‘remain’ camp were not making any inroads into the ‘leave’ advantage.
Continue reading “My initial reaction to the results of the Referendum”
This week sees the last full week before the Referendum vote on 23 June. There will be many campaigners on both sides putting in some serious miles as the referendum still remains very much in the balance. I’ll also be putting in some miles – to London on Wednesday and back to Vienna on Thursday before a day trip to Zagreb for Friday – all part of the job working within the European banking supervision environment – going to the European Banking Authority in Canary Wharf and then the Croatian National Bank, the latter hosting a meeting of an SSM working group.
Continue reading “A week of travel – Austria, Britain and Croatia”
As I type this, on my way to work and having had an interview with a journalist from Der Standard yesterday afternoon, the imminency of the referendum is really starting to hit home.
Continue reading “Two weeks to go…”
In the short or long term a Brexit will have no effect on where I live. I think a lot of the UK will see a “Yes” vote as a missed opportunity.
One of the comments made by the first pro-Brexit Briton in Austria to answer a set of questions was that there is a big difference between the situation in Vienna compared with Austria as a whole – particularly with regard to the level of integration that a foreigner needs. I was very pleased that my blog had reached a Briton in Western Austria, who was very keen to talk about her experiences – in particular to highlight how different life can be outside the largest city or capital.