Firstly, let me start by apologising for the grammar in the title, it’s a direct quote from a comment on our Facebook page in response to this article, ‘I don’t want to go back with nothing’: the Brexit threat to Spain’s little Britain.
I’m no grammar Nazi, nor do I consider myself to be a great writer by any stretch of the imagination. But, basically had I written that I’d have omitted the word basically because, except in some rare contexts, it is one of those meaningless non-words. I’d have also spent a little time on the correct sentence structure and it would have read something along the lines of “These expats want to have their cake and eat it”.
Which, basically, leads me onto my main point.
For many years now I’ve got seriously bloody angry at this attitude from (most often) those who don’t have the wherewithal, imagination, means, balls or maybe just not the urge to become an ‘expat‘ themselves. Sitting in their dingy little boxes back in the UK they take it upon themselves to deny me my right to speak about what’s happening ‘back home’. This delusional attitude has been amplified of late, as would be expected, by the impending European farcearendum.
We expats do have a right to speak up, to care and most importantly to vote on what happens in the UK. Here’s why….
- I am entitled to vote in the UK, it is my legal right (for the next 5 years anyway)
- I continue to contribute to the UK system by spending money both remotely and when I am there through VAT and the other various taxes levied on financial activities
- Despite what the those behind the out campaign might say the UK is part of Europe. I live in Europe and therefore am entitled to be concerned about what goes on. We expats have more to lose than most one way or another
- My kids live in the UK, their future matters to me
- I have ageing and disabled family who live in the UK and have contributed to the system all their lives. Services they have paid for are getting dramatically cut. I feel it important to defend their rights (high profile members of the out campaign, who despite falsely claiming that any money saved from leaving the EU could be spent on the NHS, are the exact same people who want to sell of the greatest of all UK institutions to their mates)
And now for the big one. The comment I’m seeing all too often now is “all those expats care about is their pensions”. I’m a long way off yet, but I empathise with the uncertainty of it all for the older generation here. Damned right they care about their pensions… They’ve spent a lifetime paying into a system towards a pension that potentially could get stolen from them, or at least frozen as already happens outside of the EU. Nobody knows what might happen if the UK doesn’t see sense (the out lot haven’t told us their plans for afterwards, which speaks volumes in itself), but the uncertainty of it all is understandably scaring the hell out of some.
I’ve contributed plenty to the UK in the past in the form of National Insurance contributions and taxes. When the time comes I expect to receive some of that back.
We’ve paid for our cake and we damned well expect to be able to eat it!
We’ve been running a survey for some time on the site (Click on the link if you want to take part, How are Spain’s British residents voting in the EU Referendum?). We’ll be publishing the final results closer to the 23rd of June, but here’s how it looks so far…
A final message to the 80%. Vote people, vote!