What Brexit means for this Aussie in London

28 Jun

To be honest, who the heck knows.

I’ve had family and friends contacting me, asking whether I’ll be impacted (as I’m here on my EU passport) and if I’ll now need a visa.

As my Maltese citizenship is what allows me to live and work in the UK indefinitely, it clearly influenced my vote to remain in the European Union (I got to vote because I’m a Commonwealth citizen). I considered other arguments for and against, and I felt that it was far better in than out for Britain. The result, in case you’ve been living under a rock, ended up being 51.9% for Leave.

It was a sucky feeling the morning after. A “what on earth have you done, Britain?!” feeling. At work we expressed our disgruntlement, 59.9% of London voters wanted to remain. I am very aware though that as much as I can have my opinion on the Referendum and be disappointed, my ‘working knowledge’ of this country only goes back three years. And it’s London-centric. I don’t for a second claim to fully understand the wages, property and health services pressures being particularly felt by those in working class areas, how being part of the EU contributed and ultimately influenced their decision to want out.

What I DO know

  • The fact that I’m already in the UK means I’m unlikely to be affected by any changes to freedom of movement, which wouldn’t happen for at least two years anyway.
  • Australia appears eager to negotiate new trade and immigration deals with the UK – so ironically if the unlikely DOES happen and my Maltese passport suddenly limits me, my Australian passport may suddenly open doors (borders?).
  • There are a hell of a lot of unknowns. Formal Leave negotiations won’t begin until Britain activates Article 50 (IF it does?), and since it’s never been invoked before it’s going to be a new experience for everyone.

In the meantime, it’s life as usual for me in the UK.

 

 

 

 

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