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The first posts have started appearing on the Vienna Expats site that I run from concerned Expats. To date there has only been one very brief statement from the Ambassador (although given the chaos and confusion it would be unrealistic to expect a more substantial one). This time last week I was waking up on my 39th birthday with the UK being turned upside down. Fortunately work has been crazily busy due to the work associated with getting a new website live – yes it happened to deadline!
Today in Austria there will be a decision in the Verfassungsgerichtshof (Constitutional Court) about the Presidential Election, and whether there were improprieties. Currently Alexander van der Bellen is due to be sworn in, but the result is not yet binding. The decision will arrive around midday – with the realistic prospect that the election might have to be re-run in part or whole, rather than Van der Bellen being inaugurated as Heinz Fischer’s successor. With a bit of luck, there might be closure and the result allowed to stand but after the last week of events in the UK – where daily the farce has got more surreal – I am not counted any chickens before they hatch.
Austria and Britain are united in being in a political mire, although in the case of the UK, credibility drains daily from the nation. After the most eminent UKIPper’s performance on Tuesday, it was Boris Johnson’s turn to bask in ignominy yesterday – as he announced that he would not stand for Prime Minister. Patience seems also to be in short supply, amid news that the European Banking Authority is due to leave London.
Last night I spoke to other Brits – and we shared a numbness – it felt like a bereavement. Moreover, the clear ignorance of what the Brexit entitles from all levels (from County Councils – like Cornwall, through to politicians). It seems like when rather than if for an Article 50 notification, but the news is remarkably devoid of news. The omnishambles rolls on – I may be giving a TV interview tomorrow. I’m still too shocked to really know what, if anything, I can do about the situation. Even “Keep calm and carry on” stoicism is leaving the building.