I usually stay away from commenting about politics on my blog. Although I have my opinions in life, I am not usually a person to air them. However, Brexit is something that is leaving us somewhat drifting around in no man’s land a little at the moment. This is not a post about all the issues that were voted on (or should have been voted on), how it affects the UK as a whole, or whether we should even have had a referendum. That, I am afraid did happen, and the result is the muddle we are now in. This is a purely selfish post, about us, expats, and how the majority of the UK voting on mainly one specific topic for Brexit, has now had a knock on effect to those of us who have chosen to live abroad, because at least we DID have a choice. Something that may not be available for much longer.
We have tried not to get into all the minuscule ups and downs of the whole Brexit process, but as we now come towards an agreement, or a no-agreement situation, and it all gathers a lot more momentum, it is impossible not to get sucked in. Our overriding emotions are of fear and worry. The first concern is for our young family. We have already done an almighty upheaval only 2 years ago, and shifted them away from everyone and everything they had known and loved. They have adapted remarkably well and we have been lucky. But if you have read my posts about expat grief and children moving abroad, this is not a process that we want to keep putting your children through. I realise that some families do this, either through work or following their dreams, but we have followed our dreams and found a place where we would like to stay. But the process is not something that we as a family want to put our children through again. Especially not to return to a country that we didn’t feel settled in.
We were able to get residency in Sweden as Dadda has a work contract. That was all that was required. Now, if we get into a situation where he then needs to apply for a work permit instead, that throws up all sorts of concerns. Yes, I realise other nationalities have to go through this, but the fact is we are here already, and what would happen to us while the application for a work permit is processed? Sweden is not the fastest nation at its paperwork (sorry Sweden, but we have experience!), but without this permit in place, we could not stay here, and might face having to return to the UK (with no job or home there), while it is all processed. I have started a fledgling business too, still in very early days, so the question of whether I would actually get a work permit here to carry it on is not certain. Our home (that we have bought) is in Sweden. Would we lose this and face having to sell it due to losing our right to be living here? Where would the money come from to fund a Brexit induced, work permit Swedish residency hiatus? We ploughed all our savings into making our dreams become reality in funding the move over here. Even an easy task, such as jumping into our car to drive it, might become an issue due to the fact that our driving licenses might no longer be valid.
If I think about it too much it does all become really overwhelming, as we can do nothing about it. But as a family, we are set on a path chosen by a misinformed electorate who really only voted on one issue due to the scaremongering that went on during the campaign. It is such a helpless feeling, knowing your children’s future here is so uncertain at the moment, when you brought them here to give them a better life (in our opinion, for our children). Our children are very settled here (as are we), and we have all felt a lot more at home in the Swedish culture and way of living than we ever did back in the UK. No offence intended, it is just our personal preference. They adore school, they all have amazing friends, and their lives are fully integrated into Sweden.
All we can hope for is that the powers that be back in the UK, see the light, and give the go ahead for the current deal on the table…..better still would be a fairy godmother popping along and waving Brexit all away with her magic wand. But hey ho, that probably is never going to happen! In the meantime we are crossing everything, and counting down to the 5 year point when we can apply for Sweden citizenship and take our destiny more into our own hands. Until then we try and shield our little people from knowing the turmoil we are put through on a daily basis now, and get on with life as best as possible hoping the sun is not about to set on our dreams of living here.