Post Brexit boredom
June 30, 2016 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Living and working in Europe has been a big part of my past and going back to live in Europe permanently was my major goal for my future. Now thanks to Brexit I've lost a major interest from my life as it is very hard to pursue European affairs here in Australia (I'm a dual national Australian-British). I'm at a loss to know what else to do with myself instead - please help me work this out!

What I loved about Europe was the history and culture, the politics of EU integration and the languages, as well as the feel of being part of a broader community. Apart from my Europe interest I have a stable but unrelated and often boring job and live in a city I have no particular connection to. What I am looking for is ways to fill this newfound gap in my life, or else ways to get back to living and working in Europe as a non EU citizen, if there are any!
posted by EatMyHat to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A U.N. job might be an interesting path back to your passions. They have a really complex process and it takes forever, but it would meet all your interests and if you're unsure what to do next, you've got nothing to lose by trying. See openings here.
posted by jardinier at 11:37 PM on June 30, 2016

At present, nothing has changed. The referendum was non-binding and at this point, the UK is still a member of the EU and UK citizens have freedom of movement throughout the EU as before. There is a not insignificant chance that Brexit, as voted for, won't happen - the referendum result was unexpected, everything is very much up in the air and we're all just waiting for the pieces to fall back down. Even some of the people advocating for Brexit didn't expect this.

Even if Brexit still happens, it would be economic suicide for the UK government to negotiate anything other than EEA (single market) membership. EEA citizens have the same freedom of movement throughout the EU as EU citizens. As a British citizen, I'd probably say just continue with whatever plans you had before - nothing is going to change until we have a new Prime Minister in September, and even if that PM triggers Article 50 (to leave the EU) there is a period of two years until the UK's membership expires.

It's very unlikely that citizens of the UK will lose their freedom of movement - it would take a very brave (and stupid) Prime Minister to exit the single market and collapse the UK economy, which relies on access to the wider European market at this point.
posted by winterhill at 12:18 AM on July 1, 2016 [11 favorites]

You can live in the EU as a non-EU citizen, you just have to find a job there.

You'll either need to get sponsored by a company or go to a place like Germany where you can get a freelancer visa. To get a freelancer visa in Germany, you need 2 or 3 part-time contracts with companies. Teaching English is one way to do that. If the UK really exits the EU, it will be easier for you to find a job teaching English than it has been, because language schools are always looking for native speakers. Since British people were both native English-speakers and EU nationals, I know German companies sometimes have had trouble justifying hiring Americans or Australians (generally companies have to prove they can't find an EU national for a spot before hiring a non-EU person). That won't be true anymore for teaching English if the UK leaves.
posted by colfax at 12:27 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am also Australian-British and work with a Dutch organisation though I live in the UK.

As winterhill says, right now nothing has changed. Now would be a good time to make that move, actually, while organisations are still hiring according to the status quo. Even if things do change, work permits are not so difficult for skilled migrants into Europe, we hired several Australians in my organisation.

What's stopping you from making the move now? And where in Europe are you thinking of moving? Alternately, do you have any language skills that could take you to another continent?
posted by wingless_angel at 2:15 AM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

I agree with winterhill. EEA citizens (the Norwegian option sometimes mentioned) have freedom of movement. Swiss citizens (the Swiss option mentioned) can also access the single market with a bit more work and opportunities. It's very very premature to give up hope on this.

Keep watching closely. This is, to say the least, a fascinating moment in both British and European history.
posted by plep at 2:53 AM on July 1, 2016

My future is also tied up with a united Europe and the futures of many friends and loved ones are hanging in the balance right now. After a few days of post-Brexit panic, I made the decision to continue on as usual because for the moment, things haven't changed. If and when they do, they're out of my control. I also think there is a good chance Brexit may not happen or we don't know exactly how it will happen. In all honestly, I'm not even really making contingency plans at this point because I feel like things have been so insane in the last week it's impossible to anticipate what lies ahead enough to make even tentative contingency plans that will be useful. Also, my life over the last few years has consisted of a lot of chaos and having the rug yanked from under me due to circumstances beyond my control, so as much as I'd love and really need a lot more stability, this is honestly not too terribly different from how things have been for a while personally, so I'm just kind of going with it.

All of the above advice though is really good--all of it is things that have been on my mind from the possibly increased demand for American English teachers (really, I'd prefer a united UK that remains part of the EU and no jobs for American English teachers, but hey, silver linings where you can find them), freelancing in Germany, etc. etc. My basic point is that a lot of us have been thrown into a state of limbo right now--you're not alone--and I think the best way to stay sane is to proceed with what's still in place at the moment, knowing you might have to adjust.
posted by tiger tiger at 6:12 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

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