Thursday 3 March 2016

Reddybrek's it

   To Brexit or not to Brexit, that is the question - and quite a silly one it is? I don’t know who first came up with the word but it could just as easily apply to us ex-pats who Brexited UK some while ago. Or did we Frexit? And what about those voting for Scottish independence, did they want to Scexit?  Now the UK government has given its citizens chance to vote on whether to stay or go, my mailbox and social media page is immediately filling up with propaganda about what it would mean for us ex-pats if we suddenly discovered we were foreigners in our own land. Will all our houses be given to the French state when we die, or maybe our habitation tax will double on our 'second' home, once we have no mother country's laws to fall back on? Well, despite the scaremongering, the bottom line is that we have no idea. And that, I am afraid to add, is something that is far more scary than the question of EU membership itself. 175,000 ex-pats live in France and, despite us all choosing to inhabit a country where the weather is better and the cheese nicer, we all have a vote on the situation in UK, in the same way that I was allowed to put my cross in a box in 2014 that decided whether Scotland stayed with the status quo or became a third world non-entity. In that particular instance, I did exercise my vote as I believed the 'locals' were being hoodwinked into a historic hatred campaign with no clear understanding of the consequences. In June this year, the same arguments will be put in front of us again? Will Britain get out of Europe because what happened at Agincourt, or Hastings, or the 1958 football world cup?
   Having made my home in France for the last ten years, I have to admit that British politics don’t really interest me but they will to the many who live overseas, to the tune where 2 or 3 million ex-pats around the globe who will have a postal vote. Personally I am not sure that is fair. As overseas citizens do we want Britain to cut us off? Of course not. Would Britain leaving the EU or even re-negotiating its stance be good for us who ran away from its shores? Doubtful. Would it be a good thing for the Brits who still live there though? Possibly so. Democracy is a strange thing when you look closely at it. Letting passionate people with their own agenda and yet very little subject knowledge vote on a matter so important? That can never really make sense, surely. Didn't UK actually vote a government in to make those decisions on our behalf? Despite still holding a British passport, maybe I am one of the few who believes that in this case it is none of my business.  

1 comment:

  1. Like your points,but in this case the Gov. has asked for our individual opinion. I agree we have very little hard information to go on but a helluva lot of bullshit!!