The removal of the “15-year rule” – a case of too little too late




Votes for life due to be rolled out – too little too late.

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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”

A week of travel – Austria, Britain and Croatia

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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”

Feelings of a pro-Brexit Briton in Vienna




A Brexit will result in the unravelling of the EU as we know it today and result in, at the very least, a tremendous amount of reform. A Bremain could see the UK as a very dysfunctional EU member depending on the margin of victory.






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In my last post I set a list of questions that I wanted to ask pro-Brexit Britons in Austria. Below are the first responses – from a long-term Briton in Vienna (who would appear to have been living in Austria for a similar period as I have). Continue reading “Feelings of a pro-Brexit Briton in Vienna”

FM4 Radio Interview




On Friday I did a brief interview with FM4, the state-owned alternative music station that also has some programming in English.






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FM4 Sign at the Funkhaus
FM4 Sign at the Funkhaus

On Friday I did a brief interview with FM4, the state-owned alternative music station that also has some programming in English.

Chris Cummins, who presents the Reality Check show, is another long-term Briton in Europe and he asked me some questions about how a Brexit might affect me as a Briton in Europe. He’ll be sent to cover the Referendum from London for the station in June.

The interview can be listened to online on FM4’s Website until 20 May at: fm4.orf.at/player/20160513/RC/134008

Interview with Joe Mayes – a Paris-based journalist

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Yesterday morning I was interviewed over the phone by a journalist in Paris, Joe Mayes. He wanted to ask about various facets of expat life, which he is currently pitching an article for – he is already very aware of the expat situation from Paris – and contacted me after finding out about my blog through the wetheeu website. I’ve embedded a recent piece from his website (below) – his focus was from Brits in Paris – and there is a lot of similarity to the circumstances faced by Brits there as to Austria – particularly in relation to the potential currency shock in relation to the effects of a Brexit.  Continue reading “Interview with Joe Mayes – a Paris-based journalist”

Should I vote or should I not? A question to my facebook friends

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Facebook question
Should I vote or not? A question to Facebook friends.

Yesterday I posted a question on my Facebook profile, and asked British friends – both based in the UK and elsewhere to give their reasons why they should or should not vote in the forthcoming UK referendum on EU membership. I never usually agonise about the wording of something like this – although the wording was important – and for me the aim was not to canvass people on which way they would vote, or even their allegiance to “remaining in” or “supporting a Brexit”. Continue reading “Should I vote or should I not? A question to my facebook friends”

Wetheeu.com – interview with me online




My recent interview with wetheeu.com about life as an British citizen is now online at wetheeu.com






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wetheeu interview
Michael talks to Rebecca Sumner Smith – from wetheeu.com

My recent interview with wetheeu.com about life as an British citizen is now online – and I’m very pleased about how it has turned out. Sharing it with friends on Facebook has also had a very pleasant effect – a lot have commented about how well written it was. The full article is now on the wetheeu.com website – and hopefully clears up how much there is at stake for Brits who have fallen foul of the 15-year-rule. I will also wait for a few more days before posting some of the comments received.

Why should an expat vote in the UK’s Referendum?

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Having recently given interviews to wetheeu.com and to thelocal.at, which will both appear online in due course, one of the questions that seems to have figured in both interviews as well as in conversations about the referendum with friends, both in the UK and Austria, who have been apathetic and asked why I am trying to persuade people to register and vote in the UK’s referendum, particularly given the fact that I am unlikely to return to the UK to live or work. A selection of the reasons I have given are below: Continue reading “Why should an expat vote in the UK’s Referendum?”

Am I am atypical British Expat in Vienna?

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On Saturday I spoke to Rebecca and her husband, who were in Vienna as part of their journey throughout the EU’s 28 Member States – in their wetheeu.com project. On this leg of their trip Vienna was part of their route from Germany through Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, before heading on to Malta, Sicily, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Part of their project in addition to the interviews with British Expats throughout the UK is also to explore parts of the countries they visit – rather than just a pure capital city hop. Continue reading “Am I am atypical British Expat in Vienna?”