With thanks to Chris Lyons, a member of one of the SY2E groups.
When anyone starts talking about Europe, they inevitably start from a personal point of view of ‘what has Europe ever done for me?’
For those ex-pats living within the EU, the answer is simple…it has helped the achievement of our individual goals. Whether those goals are work related, securing a comfortable retirement, or, like me, something in between, the ease of which we can move in and around Europe leads to self-development and progression as individuals. I chose a change of life style in 2007 and considered 2 options; Canada or France.
Whilst Canada had some advantages, the ease of emigration to France and the cross border agreements in place, via the EU, for things such as health care, pensions and double taxation treaties really did mean that it was not a difficult choice. Membership of the EU enabled us to buy property with ease, become residents with no paper work, enjoy good and affordable healthcare, set up a small business with little problem and simply concentrate on enjoying our chosen lifestyle within the European family.
I am British, but I am also European. In this time of worldwide uncertainty both in terms of economic and political turmoil, to isolate yourself in the hope that being a smaller fish in a big pond somehow ‘strengthens’ your position is bizarre.
Fragmentation of what is now a powerful Union at this point would only increase the risk of disagreements, fallout’s, and economic uncertainty. Europe has to stand together. In doing so, it can show the world that, notwithstanding our cultural differences, countries that have a mutual understanding and a mutual goal to achieve stability will have a much greater chance of success than those who try to go it alone.
The EU will evolve. The countries within the EU will make sure it succeeds. I hope that Great Britain is part of that success.