I wouldn't normally put anything political on my blog. Its only going to upset some people and in general I don't enjoy upsetting people. I usually like to think about more important things... the stuff that unites us. My focus is nearly always on the deeper meaning that underlies our lives because in that I believe I am approaching the truth and the key to being happy.
But I can't let Britain's leaving the EU, and my becoming an alien overnight (ha ha... some might have said that happened a long time ago lol) pass without comment since it really does affect me. You would be right to guess that I wanted to stay within europe. After all I have taken great advantage of what europe has to offer by moving here. So what does this exit mean for me?
Well. I don't envisage life changing very much. I have a little green residency card which says I am a resident in Spain. I don't see anything changing that. Its possible that there would be a little more paperwork (joy), after all, Spain welcomes other non EU people to live here and the application form for them was not much different than the one I filled in.
The biggest change may be in our standard of living. If the pound does not sort itself out soon then our pension is not going to be worth as much as it was. So we may have to tighten our belts a bit. We are no strangers to this situation. We won't automatically be entitled to healthcare here when we reach state pension age, so we may be paying for private health cover for the foreseeable. Our state pensions could well be frozen at the level they are when we receive them and then not increase in line with the standard of living as they do for UK residents. This is more tightening of the belt I guess. I can't just go and get a job here if times got really hard, I imagine I would need a work visa and applying for that might be tough, I should think priority would be given to Spanish citizens and EU citizens when it comes to jobs.
So far I can only see what I have lost. There are no gains here at all. The rights I have just lost are / were available to everyone in the UK, whether they took advantage of them or not. If Britain wishes to trade with the EU it will now have to pay a surcharge to do so. How is this different from what we already paid in membership? Immigration is a topic everyone is bandying about on Facebook and Twitter mostly to the tune of 'oh what calamity, foreigners taking our jobs etc'. I think we already know how untrue that is. The jobs are there for whoever applies for them... the pay is what the pay is... you take the job or you let someone else have it. Of course there is the issue of benefits being paid to immigrants. Here in Spain I am not allowed any benefits because I have not paid into the system. The UK is in the proceess of adopting this same rule rather than the residency based system of previously. that solves many problems in an instant. Now illegal immigrants are not controllable in the same way, because of course they are illegal. People operating outside of the law will always try to find a way to milk the system.
The word Sovereignty has been bandied about. Much of that went a long time ago, and how much can we expect to regain? I like that my human rights are protected, not just by the law of my homeland but by European law. All that stuff about EU straight bananas laws and other such craziness was always just nonsense, did British people actually believe all that? Would we really want to change so much that we gained as part of the EU? I mean, we are not seriously considering going back to feet and inches and pounds and ounces are we? Anyone who follows my food from the finca blog will know that I have recipes in Imperial measures, but hey I can do both!!! And I always could.
So, there we have it, my pennyworth. I am very sad. I can't see the benefit of leaving, for me personally or for my children who live in the UK. I only see Rights and Benefits lost and nothing of equivalent value to replace them.
Because we are a democracy I have to accept that this is what Britain wants and now I just hope that everyone will work very hard to make the best of this. No more blaming anyone else for our own failings. Time to buckle down and get to work. And, I suspect that I won't be the only one tightening my belt, So be it! Material wealth is not, after all, the key to happiness.