I am not interested in politics and never watch the news, so I was unfamiliar with the word “Brexit” until a couple of days before the referendum in June. I was talking to a friend from Spain and asked me if I thought it was a good idea for the UK to try and go it alone. I said I thought it was a stupid idea, and that’s still the way I feel, but I don’t plan to return to the UK so it doesn’t really matter to me.
Two days later I learned the majority of voters had voted to leave the EU and I began to worry. I am still travelling on a British passport and wondered if the UK’s exit from the EU may cause me difficulties in the future. I did some research and discovered I’d recently played a blinder.
I’ve known for a long time the Netherlands is the place I want to call home, so when I returned earlier this year I began looking for a permanent address. Once I had this I registered with the local council. I did not need to do this until I had been living in the country for four months, but I knew it was an important first step that was better completed sooner rather than later. Plus it allowed me to get a burgerservicenummer and I knew this was something I would need. It’s the equivalent of a British National Insurance number and once I had it I was able to open a Dutch bank account. Shortly after this I registered my business with Kamer van Koophandel (Chamber of Commerce) and agreed to pay Dutch taxes. I have no problem with that because I’d rather support the economy of a country I love.
I never needed to do the things I did, as soon as I did, but I am very glad that I did because, from what I have read, that fact that I was already living in the Netherlands (officially), before the Brexit vote took place, should make it easier for me to stay. If I’d continued drifting from one address to another, like I was, things could have been very different. I made a smart move.
Although I don’t usually take an interest in things that are happening in the UK, the fact that I had to do some research about how the Brexit situation may affect me meant I had to do quite a bit of reading and it appears that most of the pro-Brexit votes came from older members of the population. A lot of younger Brits can see the advantage of the UK staying in the EU. I find this very sad because the wishes of an older generation have robbed them of their future as EU citizens and all the benefits being an EU member entails.