Your freedom of movement rights:
I already voted (Remain) back in May – since I leave for work before 7, and if I have plans after work (as I do) won’t be back by 10.
And cards on the table, I have benefited from the EU as many have – I would never have been rich enough to study in Germany without freedom of movement rights on my ERASMUS exchange year. Even with the situation in Greece and Spain.
And like my friend Dan Boddice, on principle I agree with the long term aim of as much free movement as possible for people who aren’t rich, and hope one day it will be feasible to stop imprisoning much of the world’s population in their countries of birth (or a small number of countries) – unable to leave legally even for tourism – with visa and massive income requirements.
But that isn’t my main point.
I doubt many people’s minds will be changed at this late stage, and people close to me are on the other side.
And I’m sick of both official campaigns and just want it to be over. Which is why I haven’t posted that much that I’ve written myself this campaign – as well as procrastination of course.
I just want to remind everyone of one thing, what the Remain campaign has been too afraid to bring up or try to defend for the most part: freedom of movement is reciprocal.
At present those of you who are British citizens have the right to live, work, study (sometimes for free), and live with boyfriends or girlfriends without needing to get married and prove your income and get interrogated about your relationship in 27 other countries.
If Leave wins, then either – like Norway, Switzerland & Iceland – those reciprocal rights will remain as the price of access to the free market and many Brexiters will cry foul that little has changed – except it will have, Britain will be obeying most EU laws with little or no influence over them.
Or, if Britain does restrict EEA/Swiss migration then it is not Project Fear to say there will be reprisals. And the countries you have a right to live in will likely only be two – the UK and Ireland.
And the lives of millions of British expats and their right to live, work, and own property on the Continent will be thrown into turmoil, being made hostage to how Johnson, Gove or whoever is PM treats EEA/Swiss migrants (exc the Irish) in the UK.
Even if, hopefully, there is a grandfather clause, present migrants are protected and dozens of my friends in these islands and on the Content aren’t forced to move en masse, or apply for expensive visas and permits as supplicants now they have lost their free movement rights…
Do you really want yourself, your children and grandchildren in the future to potentially have to apply under an Australian syle points system to do any kind of legal work on the Continent, or to have to pay and apply for a visa – that may be refused – to simply spend over 90 days in any 180 in the Schengen Area?
Or – if we’re treated the same way we treat non EEA/Swiss nationals now – to have to have thousands in savings on your account for months on end and generally prove your family is so Rick you don’t need to work to get a student visa – and pay non EU student fees when in many EU countries EU students pay no fees at all?
Or to need to earn over £18,600 – more if you have kids – to marry and apply for for a permit to live with someone from another country, as is presently the case for British citizens marrying most of her world’s population.
Please just bear this in mind. And make sure you vote.