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I recently started to ask people, in relation to my post about having a “Plan B”, whether they had any consideration about whether they might consider moving on if a Brexit were to happen.
My rationale behind this was many to do with the fact that from a lot of the Britons in Europe I have spoken with, many are also daunted more by the prospect of having to move and re-establish themselves in the UK or elsewhere than by the prospect of having increased bureaucracy to contend with – and the initial uncertainty over their rights to continuing employee or residency in their host nation.
I left the UK at 23 – with very few ties and commitments. Married and with an infant son, and having firmly established my career here am financially also based here. I have assimilated to a degree that to have to “unravel” my ties would be quite an achievement – we’re talking more than closing a bank account, cancelling a rental agreement and a mobile phone and ISP contract. There would be properties to rent or sell – and probably ensure that we found a property management company to handle them, and all sorts of issues relating to our pensions, investments and also the issues of having accumulated a lot of possessions – over the years – a far cry from the two suitcases I arrived with in 2000.
Relocation to the UK would be a major upheaval, with a detrimental impact on the standard of living we enjoy and most sadly would perhaps be paved with even greater uncertainty – the uncertainty about the kind of job and salary I could command in the UK as a translator of German > English, my wife’s inability to work, or necessarily even be able to live in the UK as her ability to live in the UK would depend on my income. The issue of where to live would be another hurdle – having to think about getting in the right catchment area for a school for the future – and the thought of a substantial commute that pares back quality of life, just don’t add up to me.
Others have viewed it as perhaps a chance to consider moving on to pastures new, but invariably they have had less ties and commitments – or have been mulling up a move further afield for some time now, and in some cases the referendum falls serendipitously close to the end of their current employment contract – late June is the traditional “rush period” with people relocating in order to be settled also at the end of the summer holidays, ready for their children to start the new academic year in their new location.