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29th March 2017 at 1:23 pm #47749adminKeymasterMember since: 1st January 2005
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- Practcally Cretan
On Wednesday, March 29th, 2017, just before 0120hrs Brussels time EU President, Donald Tusk received the letter of Britain’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. All was as planned, and about 10 minutes later (0130hrs Brussels time) Prime Minister, Theresa May delivered to the House of Commons the news and briefed MPs her views on the way forward.
In the nine months since the momentous decision of the British people on June 23, 2016 to say ‘yes’ to leaving the EU, for those of us Brits living in Crete as ‘home’ it has been a period not without uncertainty. Much of that came from how the London politicians would handle securing the millions of EU residents established in the UK. But little voice of concern was aired until more recently over the impact on Brit expats living established lives across Europe.
Until negotiations start between the UK and Brussels no one can give a definitive answer that would put anyone’s mind to rest in this regard. Politicians will be politicians. There is going to be lots of argy-bargy before we arrive at the final paper signing on separation.
What I can say is this: my friendly local head of security for the Hellenic Police told me several months ago (in full knowledge of the UK Referendum and its implications) that for those Brits issued with a residency permit, the permit is valid ‘for ever’. Now that to me is a clear message that cuts through all of the scare mongering over the status of Brit nationals at least residing in Greece. Not helping has been the less than unbiased media in Britain in the past nine months. Then, there was more of the same noise from the "stay" politicians who could not believe that the "No" vote won the vote.
I believe the local senior Crete policeman knew the impact of his clear statement from the Greek perspective.
And what about those Brits now coming to Greece to live? It is likely to be different for those Brits from today (March 29th). Remember, arrangements tend to be reciprocal between governments. Britain says that any EU citizen entering the UK to work and live from March 29, 2017 will have a different status. Likewise, it would follow that EU countries therefore would view differently Brits moving to Europe from now on.
The question is: how differently?
In the case of Greece, there have been long standing residency agreements between the country and the UK pre-dating the EU regarding residency in each other’s countries for their citizens.
Greeks generally and genuinely view Brits with affection with long memories of World War 2. So why should there be major disruptions now UK is coming out of the Union? Perhaps the bureaucracy will handle matters a little differently, but my gut feeling is we have security of tenure with a resident’s permit. After all there are many more Greeks, I believe settled in UK than vice versa.
Oh what the heck, it is best to stop worrying and get on with expat life as usual, whether in UK or Greece. From what local Greeks have told me, they wished Greece would do the same thing as the United Kingdom did in the Referendum. That is to re-assert national sovereignty and not be subservient to the Brussels bureaucracy.
Be positive for Britain’s re-found independence and our living in Greece or wherever else in the EU Brits have established residency.
Gerald30th March 2017 at 9:53 am #48045fireman samParticipantMember since: 27th November 2005
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- BIC Old Hand
‘From what local Greeks have told me, they wished Greece would do the same thing as the United Kingdom did in the Referendum. That is to re-assert national sovereignty and not be subservient to the Brussels bureaucracy’
Exactly what I have been hearing, Gerald.
‘Be positive for Britain’s re-found independence and our living in Greece or wherever else in the EU Brits have established residency.’
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