Farewell to EU

Today is our last day as Europeans.

I enjoyed being European. I took full advantage of the rights it gave me, particularly the right to travel and work abroad.

All those immigrants that we’re apparently overrun with? I was one of them, in the Republic of Ireland, from 3rd January 2007 to 16th December 2010.

I had the right to just decide to move to Ireland, the same way as I could just decide to move to Hull or to Sheffield.

All I had to do was buy a ferry ticket. I’d already got myself signed up for a training course (filled in the forms, ticked the box that asked if I had the right to live and work in Ireland, popped over on a Ryanair flight for the interview) – and after I’d passed the course I walked into a job, which I had every right to do.

Of course there was a bit of paperwork – I needed the Irish equivalent of a National Insurance number. That meant going to the local council offices with my passport (which was all I needed to prove that I had the right to work there) and they gave me my PPS number. I wasn’t the only person applying. Mostly it was people from Eastern Europe, who of course also had the right to work there. They still do. We don’t.

Renting a place was easy – you just had to confirm that you had the right to live and work there, and pay the deposit. After four months you officially become an Irish resident – we were Irish residents but British citizens.

We were allowed to vote – not just allowed, but actively encouraged. When the local MP came round canvassing, he produced the forms we needed from the folder he was carrying, there and then.

It’s farewell to all that. Those rights have now been taken away from me, and you, and our children.

I will not be celebrating New Year tonight.

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Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan Mudd says:

    I agree with all you say. There are so many opportunities that will be lost. It saddens me. Happy New Year nonetheless.

    Like

    1. I don’t know how long it’ll take for people to realise just what we’ve lost. Some of us knew how it would be 4 years ago when this all started – some have still to find out. And they’re not going to be happy. Happy New Year to you two too. xx

      Like

  2. shearwood says:

    You’re so right. You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it. It’s so sad for our generation, but more so for younger people – their world is smaller than it was. But anyway, Happy New Year!

    Like

    1. And Happy New Year to you too. All the very best for 2021.

      Like

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