Elias Pelcastre

How does a British exit from the European Union affect you?

Are you British and living somewhere in Europe? Are you European and living somewhere in Britain?

I wanted to write this post to have an open discussion. What do you think of Britain leaving the EU? Does it make sense or is it just political stupidity?

I am half Swedish and lived in Sweden for two years before I decided to study journalism in Cardiff, Wales, in 2009.

My Swedish nationality allowed me to be in Britain without any limitations. No check-ins, no check-outs. I was also able to travel within the European Union.

I even got to stay in Cardiff for six months after I graduated, something international students (and by international, I mean non-EU) can’t afford to do because of visa restrictions.

David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister, can’t seriously think the EU referendum, that will take place sometime between next year and 2017 at the latest, will have zero implications for the UK.

I’m no economist but know for a fact that Europe is one of Britain’s main traders. Leaving the EU not only closes the gates to Europeans traveling to the UK; but makes things a lot more difficult for Brits living in countries like Spain and Germany.

Steve Peers, from the Guardian, lists – among other things – the following side effects to a Brexit, or in other words, a British exit from Europe:

1. Brits would no longer be “fast-tracked” through the EU lines at passport control. The EU would allow Brits to visit the continent without a visa, as long as Britain is willing to let Europeans do the same.

2. Brits would need a permit to work, set businesses, and study in Europe.

3. UK citizens would not be longer be able to buy a second house in the EU.

4. Some jobs would be lost, especially where there’s a trade between Europe and the UK.

5. There would be a relaxation in some standards, like maternity and paternity leave, as well as environmental rules.

Many people are getting a dual citizenship, and that is something I will be looking into once I return to the UK.

What about you? How is this political issue affecting you? I want to feature some of the comments I get, to give readers a view of how the prospect of Britain leaving the EU is affecting both Brits and Europeans.

I just want to say, beforehand, thank yours for your input 🙂