By Pip Watkins a member of one of the SY2E groups.
I feel I need to write something about the vote coming up on 23rd June. I am a British citizen living in Europe. I have the right to. I have the right to work and live here. How lucky I am. Apparently there are 1,220,000 of us who feel the same. More British people living and working abroad than there are European ‘Immigrants’ who live in the UK.
If you, the UK public, choose to vote to leave on 23rd June I will lose this right, as well the rest of the 1.22 million. Sure, I can live in France if I get a visa, like every other non-European citizen who lives in a European country. I can work here too but not running a business that has its base in the UK, so I can pretty much say goodbye my little holiday business. Not that would matter to you.
However, for all you skiers and Francophiles out there, who do you think will run your catered chalets and drive you backwards and forwards to the airport for next-to-nothing. The only reason that we can run chalets in France is because we have the right to employ on British contracts abroad, if we employed on French contracts we would not be able to afford the costs of employing British ‘foreigners’, so you can kiss goodbye to those well priced ski holidays and the friendly British faces.
For all of you who have children and are planning to send them off to do a ski-season at some point, you might have to rethink that option. What about retiring to Spain for the warmth or buying a second house in France for some time out drinking wines and enjoying French culture? You think you can do this if Britain decides to leave Europe? Perhaps you can, but it will not be an easy thing to do as it is now.
I have read so many reasons why we should stay and why we should leave BUT, I have not read a single thing that convinces me we should leave. As far as I am concerned, the European Union is a concept that brings us together. A continent that has been divided by war for so long. Why would we want to pull out of this? Who would we align with? America? China?
I am not a political person. I hate using Facebook for reasons of politics but I feel so strongly about this as I live and work in Europe. We have an extraordinary allegiance. As a truly developed nation, our job should not be to show fear and distrust, it should be about bringing people together to share our skills and learn from others. We should be a leader in Europe, not a leaver!
As a British person living in France, I cannot even begin to tell you what I have learnt about French culture and how I believe the British should embrace a lot of it, as we/they should every nation and vice-versa. Why would you choose to cut yourself off from this? Choose to imprison yourselves on an island where yes, you have a strong economy but in the world we live in, the world of ‘super powers’, we are really are just a tiny player… What happens when you choose to leave? Quite frankly, no one knows.
I am British. I am so lucky to be born to a British passport. But, at this moment, I also have the right to wander freely amongst my fellow Europeans. If you vote out on the 23rd June, I lose this right. So do you.
Please, think about what you are about to do. How you are going to vote. I truly believe we will not be better off alone…. Using that cheesy political catchphrase about being ‘Better Off Together’. In this instance, I really believe this is true.