EU citizens’ myths that should die #Brexit

I have meant to write a list of this sort for a long time. Surely, it should be shared a lot online to actually make an impact, I hope my followers will give me a hand for this task. Many Leavers who are quite happy in continuing to be wilfully ignorant won’t even bother to read it. However, some of them who have been genuinely misinformed should take note that they have been conned. Because the Daily Mail, Express, May/Johnson/Gove/Davis/etc., have ALL an interest to make you believe otherwise. They don’t want British readers to know. They want you TO REMAIN IGNORANT.

Remember something about history, now and forever: the elites have always used ‘media’ available at their time to convince the ‘lower’ classes that what the elites were doing was something right. This lasting long enough to allow them to get richer/more powerful until the lower classes are under too much strain and tired to be fooled, then they rebel. Many revolutions and wars started this way, just for your information.

So here’s the list of myths about EU migration that should die, as quickly as possible:

“You’re married to a British citizen, you’ll be fine”

This has been a huge pile of nonsense paraded since the referendum. It makes me furious and unfortunately I haven’t seen many trying to dismiss it.
British citizenship is a ius soli type of citizenship. It can be acquired by being born on UK soil (with some conditions, as nationality of the parents) or by naturalisation (there’s also regulation for overseas territories but I won’t go there as it is off topic).
Here are the main points cause of major misinformation:

a) “British citizenship cannot be transmitted to spouses of any nationality” (EU citizens included).

b) “The marriage to a British citizen does not offer protection of any kind nor it can confer a right to reside”.
A EU citizen married to a British citizen need to obtain a Permanent Residence card as well as all the others in order to acquire British citizenship. Right to reside based on being the spouse of a British citizen DOES NOT EXIST (since 2012, courtesy of Theresa May’s rule at the Home Office)

c) “British citizens are NOT included as valid sponsors in PR cards forms (the infamous 85-page form EU citizens are required to fill in if they want to get the Permanent Residence card)”.
This point could likely change but there’s even disagreement between lawyers about it.

d) “Being married to a British citizen offers a reduction of time to acquire British citizenship”. This was the case until November 2015, when the immigration regulation for us changed. It’s not 3 years anymore, it’s 5 years; EU citizens also need to have Permanent Residence cards before applying for British Citizenship.

“You should get British citizenship, that should have been easy for you, you’re educated and speak English well”

Apart from the fact that many countries do not allow for dual citizenship and many would lose their birth citizenship if they were naturalising as British citizens, I’m a citizen of a country (Italy) that allows it. However, the process to acquire British citizenship in the recent years has been so terribly disorganised and very expensive, that unless you are a professional who worked for many years in UK you will likely be rejected. I passed the Life in the UK test in October 2014, because I had been a UK resident for more than 3 years (at that time it was still possible to have the reduction for spouses of Brits). My application never went ahead because I was missing the second referee, meaning a ‘reference from a person of social standing knowing me personally for more than 3 years’; the reference had also to be in English so lawyers or engineers I’ve known in Italy for more than 20 years didn’t fit the bill if they could only speak Italian. Here the only people I know of social standing are all my husband’s relatives and they are excluded from it (no relatives on each side can be used).
Since then, the Home Office moved so much the goalposts to obtain British citizenship that at present I’m even ineligible for it, as well as being ineligible for a permanent residence card.
This without even mentioning that you need about 1,500 pounds for PR card plus British citizenship papers.

“You’ve been here for more than 5 years, you will have acquired permanent residence already”

There’s no such a thing in UK. I wish they were stopping to spread this nonsense on TV too.
If you refer to the ‘big con’ appearing on the government website, that’s a ruse for EU citizens who just don’t bother to read the PDFs of the forms and the guides. I’ve even written to MEPs highlighting this. It’s there to fool people. EU citizens automatically acquire permanent residence in countries where they are registered from the start. In UK a register of that kind NEVER existed. Thus, the burden of proof of entrance and all that entails is on the EU citizen, not the Home Office as it is in other countries. If you haven’t kept all records/papers during your permanence in UK (that could even be 20-30 years), you are not eligible to acquire permanent residence because you cannot prove it……..

“You’re self-employed, you will be easily confirmed as a permanent resident”

Eh, the Home Office doesn’t give any guidelines for that in terms of income. Surely, if your income is about 100k a year, I’d say you won’t have any problems. Many lower incomes won’t be considered as providing  self-sufficiency. It is advisable that anyone who’s self-employed should consult a lawyer before even attempting to fill the forms in.

“You’re not a EU low skilled worker, you will be welcome to stay” or “we didn’t mean ‘you’ when we were speaking about ‘those’ EU citizens”

Ugh. ALL EU CITIZENS ARE EQUAL IN FRONT OF THE IMMIGRATION LAWS. From all the 27 countries in EU. We are all bargaining chips, no matter if you are a surgeon on a 200k yearly wage or a minimum wage worker. Anyone who think differently (whether a EU citizen, Leaver or Remainer) needs to come down from Cloud Cuckoo. There are no EU citizens with special powers and unicorns and others without them. We will be all entered in the negotiations on equal footing.

“Once you pay for CSI (Comprehensive Sickness Insurance) you’ll be fine, right?”

CSI, the requirement actually blocking a lot of EU students/self-sufficient/stay-at-home mums and carers, has two issues connected with it: 1) if you take it out now, it doesn’t cover you retroactively 2) the definition CSI is not very clear, meaning that unlike many other countries, Home Office doesn’t provide list of official health cover insurers or things that should be included in the cover. Therefore, I’m currently covered by a health insurance for inpatient/outpatient treatment and I will get health treatment if necessary, but it doesn’t allow me to apply for a permanent residence card because I was not covered in the past whilst I was studying.

“We don’t want open borders like you enjoyed in coming here” or “many only come for benefits or to scrounge”

There’s no such thing as open borders anywhere, those are just lies peddled to confuse uninformed people. Free movement has rules as well and if you don’t find a job in a country, you either have money to survive or you go home.
I’ve also not spoken to many EU citizens who had to claim benefits. Sorry but all the people on benefits I have known in 7 years and a half were British born and bred. It needs to be added (thanks to Craig on Twitter!) that not claiming benefits has also meant for many EU citizens a rejection after applying for a permanent card. Because one of the requirements for a PR card is to ‘genuinely seek employment‘ and that can only be demonstrated through registration at a job centre; but people who do not seek to claim benefits cannot register! Therefore, at the epitome of ridiculousness, anyone who has been on benefits has more chances to get a permanent residence card than someone who never claimed a penny from DWP.

“Many of the EU citizens in UK are a burden on schools/housing/NHS/etc.”

Another stupid lie, this one also conflating EU citizens with illegals. If you are a Brit working in Italy you get access to schools, housing and Italian NHS as well. So? Just say you’re xenophobic and hate forriners at that point, at least you’re being honest.

“If you already got Permanent Residence, you will be fine”

This is tricky and not necessarily true. There is no indication, at present, that the Permanent Residence card, based on EU law, will be actually passed into UK law. Please take note that this will be subject to negotiations as all the rest concerning EU citizens. The fact that many are rushing to do it is of value only if it leads to the path of British naturalisation. In any other case, there’s no guarantee of anything even if you have the card.

“If you don’t like it, you can always leave and go home”

When someone tells this to an immigrant, it says more about him/her than the immigrant. There’s no such a thing as upping sticks and going…. Anyone who prepares for a move or migration knows that it takes a long time to settle things and move, whether you are doing it from city to city within the same country or abroad. Things can also get quite complicated if you’ve a house, family, children, etc. etc.
It’s stupid to suggest that people can realistically only have clothes to put in a suitcase and fly away unless they have just arrived somewhere.

If anyone has suggestions or anything to add to this post, please let me know. I’d say this is a ‘work-in-progress’ post where I want to address all the misinformation and nonsense about EU migrants (not refugees, another issue altogether!).

Merlin

 

 

 

Brexit religion: what’s wrong with it in 15 points

Disclaimer: Obviously, this is not a religious post. But the Brexit affair is becoming more and more like a faith with a series of dogmas and things to believe in. It might be wrong to define it as ‘religion’ as it’s not about believing in a God; however, that was the better term I could come up with. Sorry for any offence caused.

This article is not intended to be critical of any camp or political belief. Instead, I only wanted to highlight the attitudes, assumptions and expectations of several British voters/commenters and UK residents. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible, although from my position (I’m a EU citizen) it has been quite difficult. I ask for forgiveness beforehand.

1) Many Britons have the expectation that regardless of what everyone has voted, the country needs to pull up together and follow any belief in Brexit or law subsequent to the referendum as legitimate. If you don’t follow the flock, you’re branded as a traitor and possibly shouted down (fortunately, hanging is out of fashion at the moment and also a tad illegal). I’m afraid that all divisions that have been created by the referendum will stay here until all the voters dies out. Sorry for bursting your bubble, but getting over Brexit is not possible for many.

2) EU citizens are expected to shut up, collect their documents and prove they have the right to stay here. Any EU citizen showing they are offended or offering critical judgement of Brexit they get told to ‘bugger off to where they came from’ or to prove their loyalty to the British state through permanent card or citizenship, even if they are not eligible or cannot afford it.

3) Supposedly, university students and their tutors have become the ‘elite’ and whatever advice they can offer is now judged as ‘elitist’, ‘out of touch’, ‘non-sensical’; it is not worth to remind them that you might have come from a family with a poor background (as I did), because what you get in return is that you took advantage of the system whilst many poor sods (who likely didn’t give a damn about studying anyway!) had not access to higher education whilst you, nasty EU citizen, had. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

4) Any reminder of how xenophobic, nasty and racist the UK has become in only 4 months is bound to send them in a rant-frenzy of epic proportions. In particular, EU citizens are expected to bear the whole thing without speaking out or they are expected to get the heck out of the country. Dissent not accepted in many instances.

5) Assumptions about the easiness of the immigration and citizenship processes are wide-spread, even in the press. There were many cases of journalists who assumed, in their articles, that all EU citizens who have been resident for 5 years or longer automatically get an indefinite leave to remain. This is and never was the case. EU spouses married with British citizens do NOT get automatically citizenship either. They have to go through the permanent residence process as all the others (only non-EU spouses have a different process and shorter, because they pay for spouse visas).

6) Assumptions about the false equivalence ‘a foreigner goes, a local takes his/her place’. There are plenty of posters everywhere who assume that once you get rid of an immigrant a job position or a university place is now vacant for a British citizen to take. This is a failed approach for three reasons: a) the employer might not have wanted/found a local for that job position previously and they do decide not to replace him/her; b) the employer is a foreigner or works for a foreign company; after many foreign people leave, the company itself just moves away too, taking all the job opportunities with them; c) the university place was awarded by merit and no locals had or have the requirements to be chosen (this might not include medicine and any subject with place restrictions though).

7) Many Britons expect that many businesses, British or foreign, should stay after Brexit out of loyalty and commitment to the country. Useful to remind them that ‘there are no friends in business’ and if a company sees the collapse of their profits, they have two choices: 1) to declare bankrupt and close down; 2) to move away and save profits and jobs. Their loyalty lies with their customers and employees, they only pay tax contributions to the country, that is the only arrangement in place for them.

8) The general expectation that being patriotic means following the Brexit train with adoration and no critical approaches to make or say. Useful to remind them that patriotism and nationalism never fed people. They feed the ones at the top of the pyramid who exploit the patriotic bimbos who believe in such a utopia.

9) There’s the general idea that the referendum has served a double purpose, not only to leave the European Union, but it has made the big wigs in Westminster acknowledge it was a protest vote of the working classes. I will not try to define the term ‘working class’ here; however, it’s totally condescending to assume that anyone who’s working class shot themselves in the foot or voted against their interests. Many voted reasonably for what they believed in (whatever that was) and many will also be quite discontent once that their expectations will not be fulfilled. This is not due to Brexit itself, but it’s not mathematically possible that a certain situation/outcome can satisfy 100% of the ones who voted for it. It doesn’t exist and never did. If anyone believes it, they must believe in unicorns and fairy tales too (let me catch my broom before they arrive here though).

10) Expectactions about the government paying for EU subsidies lost. Afraid that is a dream from another planet. Taxpayers will replace those subsidies, with higher taxes. I expect Hammond to announce that at some point (as Hunt and Green clearly announced yesterday; they will kick sick/disabled people in the curb and send them to work. No more hand-outs).

11) The widespread belief that British citizens married with EU citizens should stay here in UK out of patriotic loyalty to their country, instead of following their spouses elsewhere once the EU spouses had enough of getting berated by the populace and the press (the latter is believed to be unacceptable behaviour, because ‘us’ the scroungers took advantage of the British system and we can’t go away without, at least, leaving our British husbands or wives here).

12) The belief of a trickle-down benefit system due to leaving the EU. This is a pet peeve of mine because the logic of it escapes me. If you leave a country/union/etc., there’s always something to pay (that would be the same for Scotland leaving the UK). Expectations of no change in negative terms are unrealistic. The ‘earthquake’ generated by such huge decisions will have many aftershocks. As many could see in the recent, real earthquakes in Italy, many valuable historical and archaeological assets simply crumbled down after 3-4 earthquakes. Economy will suffer the same after Brexit. The further expectation that ‘I eat something less today to get something more tomorrow’ is also silly because very often you won’t get anything tomorrow. Future is never certain, it’s why it’s future and not present. You could acknowledge the uncertainty and hope due to a choice, but it’s totally unrealistic to believe something positive will unequivocally come out of Brexit. Nobody knows and if history is anything to go by, the negative will bite first and for a lot longer than imagined (I’ve visited East Germany recently and in some parts it’s as awful as it was in 1989 when the Berlin Wall crumbled down).

13) Expectations of a better future for lower classes and the poor whilst a right-wing government is in power. This escapes my logical skills too. I NEVER heard such a thing; there’s not a right-wing government acting for the interests of the poor classes on all the planet. The concept itself is dumb. This point is the one who baffles me the most and it nearly pushed me to choose ‘Brexit cult’ instead of religion in the title. Poor classes are slaves from the point of view of the well-off classes. They don’t give a damn about who dies, who’s disabled, who has a problem, etc. Poor classes are expendable (as slaves were expendable in ancient Athens or Rome). Brexit or anything else is not going to change that, no matter how much people believe it. If financially speaking something positive comes out of Brexit, the benefits will be assimilated at the level they arrive first (= the top tier of the population). Anyone under that level, not only they won’t get any substantial benefits but they will have to pay for all the negatives too.

14) Expectations that granting the privilege to stay (or come, through a visa system) to some high-skilled immigrants will automatically mean they will stay (out of gratitude?) or that they will queue up at the British border in droves. This line of thought can be associated with attitudes towards skilled British citizens too, who are expected to stay and contribute to the system they took advantage of. It’s utter delusion to think that you can force upon migrants or citizens a reasoning of gratitude or patriotic loyalty. Many migrants who are highly skilled migrate for better opportunities; if they have family, they also gather information about the whole school system or healthcare system, how accessible or expensive they are, what the country has to offer for the future. As a migrant, I know that the United Kingdom enjoyed a high migration for Europe because of the free movement rule. But how will it fare a post-Brexit Britain in that regard? I suspect that there won’t be any need of controlling immigration after 2019, because only the uncertainty caused by Brexit will last two decades and many immigrants will bet their and their own families’ lives/future in more appealing countries (this without even counting the bad reputation UK has recently earned after the xenophobic accidents and murders).

15) Attitude to extensive generalisations, on everyone’s part:

  • Many middle class people voted Leave, as well as people from the upper classes;
  • Many Remainers are also xenophobic and would shoot an immigrant in the face if they had a gun;
  • Anyone who didn’t vote is NOT actually a Remainer, they just chose not to vote and never took a side;
  • University students voted Leave; some of them were so ignorant to believe UK was financing the NHS of other countries (I personally heard this one; what a waste of education!);
  • A large percentage of EU citizens who voted as dual citizens also voted to Leave and not to Remain.

N.B. : Rude, impolite, xenophobic, racist comments won’t be published. I have zero tolerance for that crap.

Merlin

Brexit Britain: how to make foreigners feel unwelcome in 10 easy steps

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Disclaimer: the owner of this website is a EU citizen living in UK. She has all the right to be angry so forgive the scathing, harsh or sarcastic tone of this article (and others) concerning this topic.

 

  1. Inundating the locals with constant propaganda about how the immigrants are all stealing jobs from the locals, driving down wages and scrounging benefits. Top it up with press owned by a magnate who has Britain’s best interests at heart (lol)

http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/08/08/comment-this-is-how-the-press-breeds-hatred-for-immigrants

  1. Putting them in opposition to locals, that only by virtue of being born in a certain country need to be privileged over anyone else (this model refers to Spartan oligarchic system, where Spartans males were above everyone else; all the others, of any nationality and genders, were subdivided in classes, in order of non-importance until slave-level). If possible add some demonisation of such group, see point one.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/british-jobs-british-workers-how-far-right-meme-went-mainstream-1585136

  1. Making them feel second-class citizens, using manipulative tactics like setting them apart from the other workers asking their employers to provide lists; if they naturalise, they will still be second-class citizens because nobody can change their country of birth. Once you receive backlash for that, just make everybody believe you abandoned the idea whilst in reality you only made the lists secret.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/05/government-faces-backlash-from-business-leaders-over-foreign-workers

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/05/amber-rudd-defends-proposal-to-make-firms-reveal-foreign-staff-numbers

Foreign worker list branded ‘modern-day yellow star’

statement4

  1. Asking with a total air of innocence that their children be listed in a school questionnaire (affectionately called ‘census’ by the Ministry of Education’), by country of birth and not just nationality, in order to set their children apart from the British born and bred too.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/26/parents-boycott-requests-childrens-country-of-birth-information

  1. Asking the future mums to provide passports at their first appointment with a midwife,avoiding that the mothers pollute the perfect British pool gene with foreign blood and trying to prevent the baby getting legitimised as British once born

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/11/forcing-pregnant-women-to-show-passports-is-dangerous-say-midwiv/

  1. Taking their pensions off them, even if they paid taxes for 40 years in several EU countries

http://www.professionalpensions.com/professional-pensions/news/2471482/lord-flight-brexit-will-allow-us-to-dump-eu-pensions-legislation

  1. Telling doctors with degrees in medicine that they will be considered useful and not expendables, until the new generation of medical staff born in Britain kicks them in the curb and makes them useless. Then they will be ready for immediate deportation

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/04/jeremy-hunt-nhs-doctors-theresa-may-conservative-conference-live/

  1. Having gangs of morally cracked and xenophobic youngsters roaming the streets in order to catch unguarded foreigners speaking their own languages and beat them up

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/04/eu-commission-uk-authorities-filtering-out-racial-elements-hate-crime-cases?CMP=share_btn_tw

https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2016/october/post-referendum-racism-and-bullying-in-the-workplace

  1. Encouraging xenophobia at state level declaring that if you think you are a citizen of the world, well you don’t actually belong anywhere – so piss off from Britain too, if possible

Citizens of the world, beware: The British government doesn’t think you should exist

  1. Taking off their already acquired rights to reside and work in a country just because you’ve a crapload of your own citizens who want to stay on the dole; then treat them like hostages in negotiations

https://www.politicshome.com/news/europe/eu-policy-agenda/brexit/news/79579/liam-fox-describes-eu-citizens-post-brexit-rights

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/liam-fox-refuses-to-guarantee-right-of-eu-citizens-to-remain-in-uk

 

Cherry on the cake, a lovely selection of comments from the local populace having fun in dehumanising the foreigners:

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What’s not to love about this country? In the end “Arbeit macht frei”, right?

arbeit-macht-frei

Bye for now,

Merlin, correspondent from xenophobic Britain.

 

Other links:

https://brightonjock.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/how-brexit-has-freed-the-tories-to-remodel-the-uk-as-anti-immigration-and-why-that-cant-be-allowed/

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-scotland-idUKKCN1251K9?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=57f524ad04d3014f7f3142f2&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/25/brexit-may-force-15-of-staff-at-uk-universities-to-leave-warns-group