Brexit Boredom

21 Jan

I suspect that I am not the only one who is bored of the ongoing rumblings about Brexit. But living abroad makes it so much harder.

When people find out that I am British, the first thing they ask is what is going to happen with Brexit – as if I somehow have already been briefed about how everything is going to be resolved. I also get greeted with spontaneous outbursts of laughter or wry shakes of the head. It’s all very worrying. What is more worrying is that I can’t even escape the whole sorry affair by watching Swiss or German TV because they are reporting on it as well (in complete disbelief about what’s happening).

Boredom is only one part of my problem though. Since the dreaded vote I have been constantly worrying about what is going to happen to my rights to stay in Switzerland. Although Switzerland isn’t in the EU, it clearly states on my resident’s permit that I was granted the right to live and work in Switzerland because of my EU nationality. It is a lot, lot harder to get a job here if you are a non-EU national.

Would I be packed off on a plane back to Blighty on 30th March by an very apologetic Swiss official? Would I have to do something to prove that I really should stay here, like compete in the next series of Ninja Warrior Switzerland, or prove that I can yodel as well as a native? For these and many other burning questions, I went to a talk for British Nationals living and working in Switzerland which was organised by the British Embassy in Bern.

I was glad I went and not just for the free glass of wine! The talk was really informative and put my mind at easy about a lot of things that I have wondering about. The best news what that the rights that we have accumulated so far will not be taken away from us. It sounds like business as usual and the proposals are due to be ratified by the Swiss Parliament in the next few weeks. So, although the Brexit process for leaving the EU does seem in turmoil, at least the bilateral agreements that will mean my life will have little disruption are almost all sorted. (I know I sound selfish, especially as so many Brits in EU countries are yet to be given guarantees and assurances and for that I am sorry!)

I was surprised about some of the questions that were asked at the event to the panel. People seemed to be more concerned about still being able to go over the border with a Swiss driving licence to go and get cheaper shopping in Germany and which queue we need to get in at passport control after the Brexit date. However, some of the questions, like would British children lose their rights to live in Switzerland if they attended a British university, had a more serious note and had very complex answers. Depending on what residents’ permit you have, depends on how long you can leave the country for before you lose your rights to residency.

I’m glad my life isn’t so complicated and I can carry on as normal (or as normal as can be). However, my boredom for Brexit continues, just as the news reports do every day that no progress has been made and there are more and more arguments over this point or that point. So, please don’t ask me what’s going to happen on 29th March because you will be greeted with a yawn and a disinterested sigh.

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5 Responses to “Brexit Boredom”

  1. Russell G January 21, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    Having similar issues myself, I’m becoming a German at the moment. Hopefully, I’ll still be able to nip over the border for cheap cuckoo clocks after Brexit…

    • ourgirlinzurich January 21, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

      Hope that goes well – I’m sure it’s not a simple process. But you do know that nothing is cheap in Switzerland, don’t you? 😉

      • Russell G January 21, 2019 at 5:55 pm #

        I never cheap out on the cuckoo clocks…

  2. Confuzzled Bev January 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

    In not so worried about being sent home – my residence permit states that I’m here to be with my partner anyway so as long as he’s here I can stay. What I would like to know is whether I’ll be able to keep my job in Germany after Brexit. But until Germany figures things out I’ll have no idea!

    • ourgirlinzurich January 22, 2019 at 5:14 pm #

      As I came here on my own, I’m not dependent on my boyfriend. But in Switzerland married partners have more legal rights than girlfriends etc. I’m pretty sure you would be able to keep your job. Lots of people cross borders for jobs. Have you thought about contacting the embassy though to see what they say?

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