Metropole – the monthly English language magazine for Vienna also runs a blog, and today’s post “Until the Brexit do us Part” featured a couple of my comments to them. There are a number of interesting perspectives – including a fair few from translators – some of whom have a slightly “devil-may-care” approach to paying into pension systems either here in Austria or in the UK.
The post gives a good impression of some of the concerns of Expats in Vienna. My initial remarks to them about my concerns, made prior to the announcement about the Referendum date were as follows:
I’m a UK citizen, but have been living in Austria for 16 years, and am working as a Banking Supervision Translator at the Financial Market Authority. My biggest personal concern is that people, particular in parts of the UK that do not have such close links to Europe, e.g. distant rural communities who see Europe as merely meddling in politics unnecessarily, don’t see the benefits of staying in the EU, and they may be mobilised to vote for the Brexit.In the event of a “Brexit”, the immediate impact is relatively low for me personally, as the physical roll-out of the Brexit will take years to implement, and I do not fear being forced to leave the country. The most substantial impact is likely to be on the fact that my democratic rights will be further weakened – I can’t vote in the UK any longer, and my voting in Austria is restricted to local and European elections, both rights I will lose if the UK leaves the EU, since permanent residency will not suffice to be able to vote.The impact will be greater for my (unborn) children, since they are dependent on me for obtaining an EU citizenship. If they are born British (in Austria), they may need to naturalise as Austrians and the process of doing so, particularly in light of the current additional burden placed on the authorities that handle this issue, is a long and arduous one. The inability to realistically hold dual British and Austrian citizenship will be an emotional issue – while I am settled in Austria, I am proud of my heritage and origins and would not wish to surrender my British citizenship unless necessary to secure the existence of my family.