Six months down the line – little has changed




There has been little change so far in the aftermath of the UK Referendum on EU Membership

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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.

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A question of citizenship




The bond of citizenship this year has been a waivering one for me…






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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”

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.
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Finding out how pro-Brexit Britons in Austria feel…




To date my blog has been dominated by pro-Bremain content – but of course this is only part of the story – there are Britons in Austria (and elsewhere in Europe) who favour a Brexit.






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To date my blog has been dominated by pro-Bremain content – but of course this is only part of the story – there are Britons in Austria (and elsewhere in Europe) who favour a Brexit. Aside from vociferous forum/facebook trolls (trolling in general, not in particular in relation to the Brexit debate), in the interests of trying to understand how people’s opinions differ – or how personal circumstances shape their position, as well as to get away from merely expressing and “broadcasting” my opinion, I will be posting the views of some Britons in Austria, who identify themselves as favouring a Brexit.

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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.

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?”

As we pass through the 100 days to go mark… Taking stock.




Yesterday saw T-100 days until the UK Referendum. For many in the UK, the issue has been getting saturation coverage since the Prime Minister announced the date of the referendum, only just over 3 weeks ago.






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Yesterday saw T-100 days until the UK Referendum. For many in the UK, the issue has been getting saturation coverage since the Prime Minister announced the date of the referendum, only just over 3 weeks ago. With the Presidential Election in the US still rumbling on and with nearly another 8 months until the vote there, even the prospect of a referendum a mere three months away seems to be too much for some citizens in the UK. In Austria we have the Presidential election coming up too, however despite not being able to vote in either the referendum in the country of my birth and upbringing, and the country whose citizenship I hold, the whole UK Referendum still captivates me more than the position of President of Austria – a widely ceremonial position. Continue reading “As we pass through the 100 days to go mark… Taking stock.”

Stratifications of citizenship (or First Class, Second Class, Worst Class…)

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With the Freedoom of Movement being essential within the EU – it being exactly what has allowed me to stay and work in Austria as a UK national, another issue was alerted to me, which may affect fewer people, but which until recently would have affected someone no less prominent in the Brexit referendum than Boris Johnson.
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