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British emigrants… October 7, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.


An interesting piece in Prospect recently written by a British expatriate, Giles Tremlett, in Madrid. He makes the point that Britain is the world’s eight biggest exporter of migrants, and the EU’s largest. Some 8 per cent of the UK population live abroad. Compare and contrast with Spaniards and Pakistanis of whom only 3 per cent of their population live abroad.

He makes a further point:

Children have been born and raised, businesses founded and careers launched not he basis that Britain would remain inside the EU. 

It’s a very striking thought because this is of true of Irish who have gone to the UK or elsewhere inside the EU as it is of British expatriates who have left the UK.

As is this:

We [the 1.2m Britons living in the EU] are the reverse side of the coin that bears the Polish plumber’s face on its front. Logic dictates that everything that happens to him in the future must also happen to us…

And here’s another:

The popular view is that we [expatriates] are mostly sun tanned, gin and tonic swigging retirees, but that figure is false. the vast majority are workers, – mostly well-qualified business people, academics, teachers and engineers, but also plumbers, hairdressers and barmen. 


1. sonofstan - October 7, 2016

“He makes the point that Britain is the world’s eight biggest exporter of migrants,”

In terms of absolute numbers yes, but not as a proportion of the population. And in terms of people who emigrate to work abroad, probably less again. Emigration as something people you know do is simply not a central to experience here.


WorldbyStorm - October 7, 2016

Very true. And that makes a huge difference to their self-perception.


2. Gewerkschaftler - October 7, 2016

Just read that academics advising on Brexit are being selected on the basis of their Little British nationality. And if you have dual citizenship that doesn’t count. More from the ‘you couldn’t make it up’ drawer.

I think this article puts the finger on what is being lost to British people by an immigration-based hard Brexit.

It entails a massive loss of rights:

One of the reasons the 23 June referendum was a fraud is that what was posed as a simple question of “in” or “out” in fact hid a multitude of other decisions. Though it wasn’t framed this way, it served as an opportunity for a simple majority of voters (in fact, 37% of the electorate) to decide to strip the entire population of EU citizenship. This was mass deprivation of rights of abode and equal treatment on a scale not seen since the age of decolonisation. Legal scholar Dimitry Kochenov calls it “one of the most radical losses in the value of a particular nationality in recent history”.

EU citizenship isn’t just theoretical – it has practical meaning for tens of millions of people.

The EU citizen was created in 1993. It is a person who, across the union, cannot be discriminated against on the basis of nationality; can move and reside freely; can vote for and stand as a candidate in European parliament and municipal elections; and is entitled to consular protection outside the EU by European diplomats. More than that, citizenship established a identity, separate from nationality, shared between individuals in the union. A common bond of the kind that Theresa May otherwise admires. In the 23 years since, cultural, political, academic and social exchange has become the norm. What might have initially seemed like a paper exercise has become durable and meaningful to millions. Eurosceptics hate it, no doubt. That doesn’t mean it isn’t real.


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