Yes, waking up on 23 June 2016 to the news that the UK had voted for Brexit was something of a shock. But part of me also thought, ‘Bollocks. Forget about it for now. It’s still at least two years away. Nothing too much will change any time soon. And anything can happen before we’re due to leave.’
Today, the only thing that remains from the above is the ‘bollocks’.
As it stands, with Britain on the cusp of leaving the EU, theoretically in around 20 days, I, similar to millions of other Brits, have little idea of what to expect.
My attitude is still partly that I genuinely don’t give a shit. If Brits want to leave, then leave. They never really grasped that the EU was never only about economics – British economist and Brexit expert Jonathan Portes agreed with me on this when I interviewed him recently for Business Spotlight magazine.
I know that leaving will affect me disproportionately compared to many Brits who live in the UK. I live in Munich, a fabulous city in the south of Germany. My kids are here. I enjoy living here, even if after a decade and a half, I’ve still got more than half an idea that one day I’ll return to Britain.
Every single one of my British friends who can have now completed their Einbürgerung, which basically means they now have a German passport to sit alongside their British one. Me? I’m too busy being pissed off that I should even have to consider wasting my time applying, doing the citizenship test and the language test, and paying for it all. Why the hell should I? Why haven’t the EU and the UK already preserved my current rights, because they bloody well should have by now?
The bureaucracy I might face without German citizenship, from travelling around the EU to renting a flat to work, could be huge. There again, it might not. Who knows?
For someone who is now disenfranchised by my own country because I’ve lived in Germany for the last 15 years, and who was subsequently not allowed to vote in the 2016 EU referendum (a broken Tory manifesto promise), it might sound strange that I’m hesitating on what to do. ‘Get a German passport, for christ’s sake,’ is the refrain.
Even with (possibly) only around three weeks remaining, it’s not too late. To be frank, though, I don’t want German citizenship – even if I don’t begrudge others from around the world who have already acquired (or want to acquire) it. In fact, I embrace internationalism, multiple identities and dual citizenship.
So, it’s decision time : do I very reluctantly put in a German citizenship application in this coming week? Or not bother, and live with the consequences? To make my life easier, the answer, of course, is: Yes, citizenship. But why the hell should I?
- May 5, 2019 New Pinakothek, exhibition: Die Neue Heimat (1950-1982), A Public Housing Corporation and Its Building May 5, 2019
- May 1, 2019 Spotlight magazine - Munich’s Brits: a sporting community May 1, 2019
- April 2019
- Mar 8, 2019 Passport decision time Mar 8, 2019
- February 2019
- Jan 28, 2019 Book Review: The Unravelling. High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq Jan 28, 2019
- Jan 15, 2019 Book review - John Robertson, Iraq. A History Jan 15, 2019
- Jan 1, 2019 Poverty Safari, Darren McGarvey Jan 1, 2019
- Dec 28, 2018 Iraqi artist recreates 3D ancient cities Dec 28, 2018
- Nov 28, 2018 Ireland: Waterford and the King of the Vikings Nov 28, 2018
- Nov 27, 2018 Spotlight: Pakistan Nov 27, 2018
- Nov 12, 2018 Business Spotlight: Israel Nov 12, 2018
- Nov 10, 2018 Business Spotlight magazine: South Korea Nov 10, 2018
- Nov 2, 2018 Thousands of dead fish ... the rivers of Babylon Nov 2, 2018
- Nov 1, 2018 Lacrosse interview – German and US players in Munich Nov 1, 2018
- Oct 31, 2018 Book review: Alan Rusbridger, Breaking News. The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now Oct 31, 2018
- Oct 26, 2018 Food: Sababa, Munich's best falafal restaurant Oct 26, 2018
- Oct 19, 2018 CSU loss is a Green gain Oct 19, 2018
- Oct 18, 2018 Gozo's Ta Tumasa & hints of the Middle East Oct 18, 2018
- Oct 18, 2018 The Price of Plastic - For One Turtle Oct 18, 2018
- Oct 14, 2018 Visit Malta, stay on Gozo Oct 14, 2018
 Though there are stories that Germany has drafted an fabulously sounding Brexit-Übergangsgesetz, which ‘foresees that British nationals would have until December 31st, 2020 to apply for German citizenship – this, however, seems doesn’t seem to apply if there is no withdrawal agreement’: https://www.thelocal.de/20180803/germany-seeks-to-make-special-provisions-for-brits-applying-for-german-citizenship