BREXIT! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

BREXIT! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

Right.

Where to even start?

As you might know, and everyone else on the planet, my country aka England, otherwise known as the UK!!?§#!!

Will be leaving the European Union (EU) on March 29th, 2019.

With perhaps a two weeks grace and a new date on October 31st (Halloween) – previously April 12th, (to think of a different Brexit plan) if the withdrawal agreement is rejected by MPs’ in the House of Commons in a few days.

In a few days!

That is, THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE – BREXIT DAY!

Or in the unlikely event that our Prime Minister – Theresa May – does win the support of the Commons when the Brexit deal goes to MPs’ in a few days, then the UK will continue to be an EU member state until May 22nd 2019, to allow necessary withdrawal legislation to be passed.

BREXIT! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do! Brexit ©AFP

And what a soap opera we’ve found ourselves in!

And why?

Why?

BREXIT!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know! ©Claudio Cadei – CartoonMovement

You know, that time when we triggered that awful document, otherwise known as Article 50, and found ourselves on the road to drifting apart from the EU because we wanted to rule and govern ourselves away from the European tyrant of Brussels.

Oh wait!

We haven’t actually done that.

Now that Brexit & Article 50 has been triggered, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

What we have done is to show the world how ridiculous the whole thing is, how utterly clueless we are about what Brexit actually means and how we’ve reduced ourselves to not the Great Britain – the land of fairness, truth and civilised common sense – that we all love and know, but it’s buffoon of an uncle – David Cameron – and the out-of-touch mad aunt – Theresa May – and have become the laughing-stock of our European cousins who are utterly baffled as to why Brexit is even happening.

Brexit! At first, it was quite funny!

At first, it was quite funny.

Brexit! I’m livid with anger and sadness!

Until it wasn’t.

Many people’s lives are affected by Brexit and everything it entails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even I was affected!

After the very disappointing result of the Brexit Referendum in 2016, many of my fellow British citizens began to wonder whether the discussions and talks would lead to a better understanding of British / European relations, or a hardline stance.

Should I be British or European? Can’t I be both!

Luckily, I had the foresight to listen to my instinct and apply for British-German dual nationality just a mere three months after the Referendum took place!

How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!

In fact, as a Brit Abroad albeit a British-German Expat myself, I literally have to explain Brexit to my German friends, colleagues, neighbours, the casual passer-by, and the German press, each and every day!

I literally have to explain Brexit to the German press, each & every day!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner & Kay S. Abaño [www.kayabano.com]
Talking to the German press at Sputnik Kino, for Die rbb Reporter in Berlin!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner / Kay S. Abaño [www.kayabano.com]

Here’s where I talk about it on Die rbb Reporter | rbb – Briten in Berlin und Brandenburg – Deutscher Pass statt Brexit-Chaos or Brits in Berlin and Brandenburg – German passport instead of Brexit-Chaos.

Recording was at the British Shorts Film Festival that took place at the Sputnik Kino in Berlin.

The film is in German, but there’s a possibility to subtitle it, and I guess you can use Google to translate it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was also in the German newspaper – Der Tagesspiegel – (Berlin-Brexit Stories #2 on 15th January 2019 – 17:56), as well as on TV!

If you want to know about Britain, Brexit and British Expats in Berlin / Germany, follow the links indicated.

Let’s Remain! ©John Keeble/Getty Images – AP

And you know what?

Nobody knows why we even have Brexit.

Even worse.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen!

I mean.

NOBODY!

I certainly don’t!

Do you?

I practically live on Twitter these days and the Deal or No Deal palaver is a chaotic mess.

Most importantly, it’s awful and scary for the 100,000+ British expats who live in Germany, the 1.5 million+ British expats who live in Europe, and the 3 million+ European expats who live in the UK.

If you speak / understand German, watch the video below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let’s not even get into the issue of Northern Ireland, otherwise known as the border that separates Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, or better still the Backstop!

Let’s not go there!

Watch this video instead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regardless, of what has happened, I’m still a very proud British person.

There is no doubt in my mind that regardless of the dismal politics, I love both England – my original birth country, and Germany – my adoptive new country, and I don’t see why I should have to choose, as I have spent a lot of my life and money, in both.

In fact, I’ve written about both how to be British and how to be a German.

And, I’m not alone!

Put the kettle on. We’re going to be here all day! How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Basically, I can be both British and German, and to effectively have the best of both worlds!

And while the UK is still in the EU, I certainly can!

And if you fit all the criteria, so can you.

Click here for all the details on how to be a German and on how you can apply for dual citizenship, if you’re British and live in Germany!

If you’re British, & have the opportunity to apply for European citizenship anywhere in the EU, do so as quickly as possible! ©Dr. Meddy – The Cartoon Movement

Now for British citizens living on the European continent, and European citizens living in the UK, what’s next, is a constant worry, and I attend many a meeting, press sessions and network groups, on this very question.

If you are British, and have the opportunity to apply for European citizenship anywhere in the EU, do so as quickly as possible as the clock is ticking, and even though there might be an extension on March 29th, April 12th, May 22nd, or even October 31st, those dates will be upon us sooner than you or anyone else anticipated, and then it will be too late.

If you’re a British national of Irish descent or anybody born in Northern Ireland, you have the right to acquire Irish citizenship, so if there’s a whiff of Irishness in your ancestral tree, go and get it!

I can’t tell you what to do and where to choose, but I can give you some simple tips and guidelines as to how to apply for German citizenship, if you’re British.

If you’re not going down that road, read on:

WHAT DO I DO IF I’M BRITISH AND HAVE NO WAY TO OBTAIN DUAL CITIZENSHIP, PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR ANY OTHER THING?

I’m not a lawyer, so you should seek legal advice!

Don’t panic! Here’s what to do!

Before we go any further, let me make it clear that I am not a lawyer, so if you need legal advice, go ahead and contact an expert specialised in naturalisation / citizenship matters. This post is based on information that was personally sent to me by the British Embassy in Berlin, the updates for British citizens living in Germany / British citizens who live in the EU / other parts of Europe, and my personal experience as a British Expat in Berlin. I assume no liability for the accuracy of the enclosed data.

Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s go on.

BRITAIN IS LEAVING THE EU – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Brexit! Britain is leaving the EU – What you need to know!

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Germany while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate EU Exit, you should:

VISAS AND RESIDENCY:

You need your passport if you want to live in Germany & you must register within 14 days of arrival if you want to stay longer than 3 months!

You must register at your local Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office) within 14 days of arrival if you are staying in Germany for more than 3 months.

In some places the Einwohnermeldeamt is known as the Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), Bürgerbüro or Bürgeramt. When you change address in Germany you must deregister from your old address and register at your new one.

  • An overview of all Einwohnermeldeämter is available here
  • The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights would allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019
  • The German Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community published a website with information for UK nationals in Germany on 21 December 2018
  • In all EU Exit scenarios, UK nationals living in Germany will need to apply for a residence permit from their local Foreigners Authority (Ausländerbehörde).
  • Some Foreigners Authority Offices are already planning a procedure for voluntary registration/application before the UK’s exit from the EU
  • Read guidance on German Foreigners Authorities

FOR BRITISH CITIZENS WHO LIVE IN BERLIN, PLEASE READ!!

Love conquers all. We had controlled rent, but we didn’t have a bathroom in Berlin!

According to the Berlin Foreigners Authority, up to 8,000 of approximately 18,000 UK nationals living in Berlin, have registered with them online. This is the first step of the application process for a residence permit, which all UK nationals in Berlin will need to acquire after the UK has left the EU.

  • If you are a British citizen and also hold the citizenship of any EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you DO NOT need to make an application
  • If you are a British citizen or live with a British family member, you must register
  • No additional documents are required at the moment
  • Online registration and application submission is free of charge
  • There will be a fee after your application has been processed
  • Everyone who has registered via the online application form will be contacted and invited for an appointment from April 2019 onwards
  • Should the UK’s departure from the EU be stopped, all data gathered by the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office on the online form will be deleted immediately
  • NOTE: After completing your online registration you must save a copy of the confirmation and print it out. This confirmation serves as proof of your registration and your lawful residence in the territory of Germany. Don’t forget!
  • Print it out!
Bring along all your documentation! How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

APPLYING FOR GERMAN-DUAL CITIZENSHIP:

  • If you would like to apply for German dual citizenship, please read my article on how to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Dual Nationality first!
  • Here are the official conditions to apply for German citizenship
  • In the UK, there are no restrictions on dual nationality however, Germany only allows dual nationality in exceptional cases, including for EU citizens. According to the draft national Brexit law, in a deal scenario, UK nationals who have applied for German naturalisation and fulfilled all conditions before the end of the implementation period (31 December 2020), would not have to give up their UK nationality in order to obtain German nationality. Phew!
  • In addition, as part of it’s no deal preparations, the German cabinet on 12 December 2018, adopted a draft Social Security Transition Brexit law, which would ensure that any UK national who has applied before 29 March 2019 for German citizenship and met all conditions on that day, but whose application has not been processed yet, would still be able to retain his or her UK nationality when accepting German nationality
  • After the transitional period, it is likely that any UK Citizen who applies for German citizenship will not be able to retain their dual citizenship, and will then have to choose one or the other
  • Get on it with it then, and quickly!

HEALTHCARE:

BREXIT and healthcare! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare is likely to change. The NHS has more information about healthcare for UK nationals living in and visiting Germany
  • The UK government has or is seeking agreements with countries, including Germany, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March 2019
  • The Federal Ministry Labour and Social Affairs has detailed information about German social security, including health insurance. This document details out the different health insurance systems, who is insured and for which treatment
  • If you are resident in Germany, you must register with a Krankenkasse (health insurance company) – in the usual way through your employer – to access healthcare
  • You can choose to be either state insured (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) or privately insured (private Krankenversicherung), if your income allows it
  • All employees are allowed to choose their own health insurance provider. You can also ask your employer’s HR department for healthcare information
  • You can find information about English-speaking doctors in Germany in the link
  • You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Germany

  • Up to 29 March 2019, you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC. Your UK-issued EHIC, will be valid only until 29 March 2019
  • If you plan to visit Germany on or after 29 March 2019, you should continue to buy travel insurance for the health treatment you may need, as you would for any non-EU country

S1 FORM – HEALTHCARE PAID FOR BY THE UK:

BREXIT and healthcare! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!
  • You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Germany and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit
  • You will need an S1 form. You can apply for one by calling +44 (0)191 218 1999
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your S1 form may no longer be recognised after 29 March 2019. The German government has prepared a Brexit social security law, which would come into effect in this case. In addition, seeking private insurance also remains an option

WORKING IN GERMANY:

BREXIT! – Working in Germany! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!
  • If you are employed by the German civil service as a Beamte/r, you will need permission to continue your employment after the UK has left the EU. Please see this change to the law governing civil servants and contact your employer
  • If you live abroad and require a Police Certificate from the UK, apply to the ACRO Criminal Records Office
  • A German criminal record check (Führungszeugnis) can be ordered from the local registry office (Meldebehörde). This will be sent directly from the German Ministry of Justice

EDUCATION AND TRAINING:

I’m an MA graduate from the University of Chester. Whoopee!
  • In a no-deal Brexit scenario, if you are a student or trainee receiving a support loan in Germany (BAföG) you can still receive the loan until the end of the course, as long as the course started before 30 March 2019. Contact the Federal Ministry for Education and Research for more information.
  • The European Commission has published guidance on professional qualifications
  • Where UK nationals have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications, this will remain valid after the UK leaves the EU. The Commission has advised holders of qualifications obtained in the UK before the UK leaves the EU to obtain recognition in a EU27 Member State before 29 March 2019
  • Find information on where to request a recognition of your qualifications in Germany
  • For more information read studying in the European Union after Brexit

MONEY AND TAXES:

How I got scammed in Berlin!

The UK’s exit from the European Union will not change existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Germany. The UK has a double-taxation agreement with Germany to ensure people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

PENSIONS:

BREXIT & Pensions! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

The UK Government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the UK’s exit from the EU.

SOCIAL INSURANCE / BENEFITS:

BREXIT & Social Insurance / Benefits! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

You might be entitled to German benefits, including:

DRIVING IN GERMANY:

BREXIT & Driving in Germany! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country they are living in before 29 March 2019.

VOTING:

BREXIT & Voting! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

I don’t know about you, but the civil right to vote is so important.

But once the UK leaves the EU, UK nationals will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European elections. The UK pushed hard in negotiations for the right to stand and vote in local elections for UK nationals living in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK, but they will not form part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

PASSPORTS:

A British passport will still be valid as a document. @Reuters

The rules of travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.

  • Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months remaining from your date of travel
  • If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. These extra months will not count towards this, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel

RETURNING TO THE UK:

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know! ©AFP / Getty Images

If you get utterly fed up and decide to return to live in the UK permanently, and it’s not a crime to do so, it’s important you tell the German authorities.

  • You must deregister with your local Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office)
  • You must inform your health insurance (Krankenkasse) of your move
  • You must inform your bank and other financial services
  • You must let local service providers know
  • To move your pension back to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre
  • You will also need to contact the pension services in Germany

SOME VERY IMPORTANT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

If you want to be a German, ask more questions! How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

I’M BRITISH AND I LIVE IN GERMANY. SERIOUSLY, WHAT NOW?

The Tall Young Gentleman and the Boy Scouts of America – Troop 46 – Berlin. Having German, British, American & French dual citizenships / double nationalities, works just fine!

If the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented, a 21-month transitional period will begin once the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. The transitional period will end on 31 December 2020. During this transitional period the UK will in principle, be treated like a member state of the European Union thus, EU rules on freedom of movement will continue to apply during this period.

WHAT HAPPENS IF BRITAIN LEAVES WITHOUT A DEAL?

 

 

 

 

 

In the event of Britain leaving the EU without a deal, no British citizen of course, will be required to immediately leave Germany.

Germany is planning to implement a three-month transitional period, which may be extended. During this period all British citizens who are entitled to freedom of movement within the EU and their family members will be able to continue to live and work in Germany as before, without a residence permit.

However, in order to be able to stay in the long-term, all British citizens will be required, before the end of the transitional period, to apply to the competent foreigners’ authority for a residence permit and, if they have not already done so, to register with the registration authority at their place of residence. They have permission to stay in Germany while their application is being processed.

I HAVE A BRITISH PASSPORT, CAN I STILL TRAVEL THROUGH EUROPE WITHOUT A VISA, AFTER BREXIT?

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

Umm!

It depends!

The European Commission has proposed granting British citizens visa-free travel to the EU for short stays (of up to 90 days in any 180-day period) that is, on the condition that the UK grants visa-free travel for all EU citizens too.

However.

If there is still No-Deal, British tourists face having to apply for a visa at a cost of up to €60 or £52, to visit most of mainland Europe!

This might come to pass if UK citizens wish to enter the Schengen area because of heated discussions mired in a dispute with Spain over whether the British overseas territory Gibraltar could be described as a “colony” or not!

If no solution can be found, the UK will be left in legal limbo as it is not on the list of countries where a visa is required to visit the EU, nor on a list of countries with an exemption!

It could mean UK citizens heading to Europe for Easter having to pay for a Schengen visa or be left waiting for a bilateral deal.

In a tit-for-tat move, EU citizens coming to the UK would face a similar scheme. Further down the line, the EU is proposing an electronic visa waiver system valid for three years at €7.

There is still the issue of how travellers will be treated when they arrive in Europe.

As of now, Portugal is the only EU state so far that has said it will create a third lane at airport passport control to speed Brits through. Without a deal, British visitors face having to queue with all other non-EU passport holders.

I HAVE GERMAN AND BRITISH CITIZENSHIP. DO I HAVE TO GIVE ONE OF THEM UP?

I love both England – my original birth country, and Germany – my adoptive new country, and I don’t see why I should have to choose! ©Reuters

Nope!

As a German citizen you are naturally permitted to reside in Germany without a residence permit. Even if you are a citizen of another EU member state, you are still entitled to freedom of movement. And that does not mean that you have to give up your British citizenship.

I’D LIKE TO STUDY IN THE UK. WHAT RULES WILL APPLY TO ME?

An English Education – The misadventures of a post-graduate student at the University of Chester.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs’ has information supplied by Wales, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland about the possible consequences the UK leaving the EU will have, as regards to tuition fees and student finance for students from EU member states wishing to study in the UK.

There is no further information as of now.

WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO DO AN ERASMUS SEMESTER IN THE UK AFTER BREXIT?

If you’re an Erasmus student, you can travel even cheaper!

At this point in time it is still impossible to say whether the UK will stay in the Erasmus+ Programme and what the UK’s future status will be. That will all depend on the outcome of the withdrawal negotiations between the EU and the UK.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORDERLY AND A DISORDERLY BREXIT?

BREXIT! March for your rights!

Aha!

On 29 March 2017, the British Prime Minister – Theresa May – notified the European Council of the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union. This launched the official process of the UK’s exit from the EU, including negotiations on a withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK.

There are two very different possible scenarios:

If a withdrawal agreement is ratified, then a transitional period will enter into force, ending on 31 December 2020. During this transitional period, the UK would continue to comply with EU rules and pay its financial contributions to Brussels. However, the UK would no longer be represented in any of the EU’s bodies.

After the end of the transitional period, new rules would govern the UK’s relationship with the EU.

On 15 January 2019, the British Government failed to win a vote in the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, this means that the British Parliament has not agreed to the deal currently on the table.

If no withdrawal agreement is ratified (hard Brexit / no-deal Brexit), the UK will automatically cease to be a member of the EU.

As of 30 March 2019 (two years after triggering Article 50 to launch the Brexit process), the EU would have to treat the UK as a third country and the EU rulebook (“acquis”) would no longer apply to the UK.

This would have wide-ranging consequences for citizens, businesses and public administration. The UK would no longer be part of the European Single Market and would have to trade under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules instead.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY APPLICATION FOR NATURALISATION?

Oh no! I’ve got to do the Naturalisation Test, & learn stuff!

Applicants who file an application for naturalisation before the date on which the UK leaves the EU but who do not receive a decision until after Brexit, are to retain their previous German or British nationality if they have fulfilled all the other criteria before the Brexit date. Multiple nationality will be accepted in such cases.

WILL AIRLINES IN THE UK STILL BE ABLE TO FLY TO GERMANY? AND WILL GERMAN AIRLINES BE ALLOWED TO FLY TO THE UK?

Ryanair – A no-frills budget airline. Is it worth the plunge?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will automatically leave the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) on the day it leaves the EU. Discussions are currently being held on what measures can be taken to avoid the resulting disruption to air traffic.

In December 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation which grants British airlines air traffic rights for flights from the UK to the EU and vice versa – up until 30 March 2020. The condition being that the UK grants European airlines the same rights. Consultations on the proposal are still ongoing in the EU.

Before you travel, buy travel insurance!

World-Nomads-Travel-Insurance
WHAT’S THE “BACKSTOP” THAT EVERYONE KEEPS TALKING ABOUT, IN A VERY WORRIED WAY?

 

 

The backstop is a fall-back solution in the event that, after the UK leaves the EU and the transition period ends, no solution can be found by which to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland (an EU member state) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK).

The backstop agreement (officially the Northern Ireland Protocol) is intended to protect the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Ireland after The Troubles.

Up until 1998, the British part of Ireland was ravaged by the bloody Northern Ireland conflict. The signing of the Good Friday Agreement, 20+ years ago, marked the end of that conflict.

Reconciliation between the conflicting parties was also helped by the fact that European integration meant that the border between the British and Irish EU partners ceased to be of relevance.

With the UK’s exit from the EU, the question has arisen as to what to do about this in order to avoid a return to a “hard border” on the island.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE UK TO EVER REJOIN THE EU?

BREXIT! The UK can ALWAYS rejoin the EU. But it won’t be easy!

Of course!

However, under Article 50 paragraph 5 of the Treaty on European Union, Britain would be subject to the very long and complex procedure for joining the EU.

And each and every EU member state would have to agree to the UK rejoining the EU once again!

Oops!

I’m exhausted.

That’s it for now!

See you in Berlin!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

If you want to be like me when you grow up – a well-respected smart British – German blogger, all you have to do is to get yourself a website host such as Blue Host, and open up the website of wordpress.com.

It’s really easy and can be done in all of 10 minutes!

Here’s a simple guide I wrote, about how to start a blog!

WordPress.com

If you’re still having problems or would prefer a step-by-step live guide, I offer a personal consultancy which can be done in either English or German!

Nifty!

BREXIT! DON’T PANIC IF YOU’RE BRITISH & LIVE IN GERMANY. HERE’S WHAT TO DO!

BREXIT! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are utterly my very, very own!

Brexit is going to be messy, but there’s hope!

Catch me if you can!

BREXIT! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!

Watch this space!

Please note that there are four affiliate link companies connected to this post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

So what are you waiting for?

Thanks a million!

BREXIT! Don’t panic if you’re British & live in Germany. Here’s what to do!
  • Are you British? What does Brexit mean to you?
  • Do you want to be a German citizen?
  • Are you looking to change nationalities because of Brexit?
  • Have you applied for Double Nationality / Dual Citizenship, or are you going the whole hog?
  • How has Brexit affected you as a British person living in the EU?

Was this article useful? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

It’s been a rough few weeks.

I was going to write about the rest of my marvellous time in Sweden.

I was going to tell you that I was asked to be one of the five (5) members of an academic discussion panel on Brexit, at the Humboldt University of Berlin!

It’ll be on 24.06.17 as part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, or the Long Night of Sciences at the Centre for British Studies in Berlin.

I was also going to tell you that not only was I featured as a guest blogger on the University of Chester Alumni website, but I’m also going to be on the University of Chester’s official Case Study posters for postgraduate recruitment too! Now isn’t that cool!

Berlin – very British – rbb

However, bearing in mind what has been happening in my home-country of England, there was just no way that I wasn’t going to mention it.

And sadly, this isn’t the first time.

There have been terrorist attacks in both London and Manchester.

Everyone is in a state of shock.

Our sympathies and condolences are with the people, family and friends of both Manchester and London.

Tributes left in St Ann’s Square, Manchester, for the people who died in the terror attack
©Jeff J Mitchell /Getty

The world has been in a dreadful state within the last year.

First, we had that horrible referendum in which my fellow Brits voted to Leave the European Union, and won! Shortly after, we had airport explosions and train attacks in Belgium, awful situations of terror in France, mindless shootings in the US, the senseless mass killing of the gay community in America, a mad axe-wielding teenager in Germany, an airport terror attack and a near military coup in Turkey, another disturbed teenager ran riot of an evening, randomly shooting innocent shoppers, after luring them to a free McDonalds’ burger, in Germany, and the awful fact that Donald Trump, a laughable figure, actually ended up as the President of the United States, and thus, the leader of the Free Western World!

I mean, how did that happen?!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Berlin was targeted by a mad man at the German Christmas Market, then London was terrorised in March, Stockholm in April, and very very recently, Manchester was attacked, and just over the weekend, London, all over again!!

Just what is the world coming to?

MANCHESTER

That famous and historical city – Manchester!

I’m a British girl!

I was born and grew up in the suburbs of a most famous and historical city – Manchester.

Manchester is in England and when you think of England you think of icons like King Henry VIII, The British Empire, David Bowie, and of course, The Beatles.

Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!
@Debbiefm

The Beatles may come from Liverpool, but you can’t have everything can you!

Manchester began as a Roman fort called Mamucium or Mancunium, in about AD 79 and was historically a part of Lancashire, and until the 20th century, became a part of Cheshire.

Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the South, the Pennines to the North and East, and an arc of little towns surrounding it!

The lovely” Just So Festival” is an annual weekend camping festival that’s actually in Cheshire, but billed as Manchester!

In fact, where I grew up, is technically no longer known as Manchester, but Cheshire!

Throughout the Middle Ages, Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, bringing extreme wealth to Manchester and making it the first industrialised city in the world!

Phew!

It’s lovely cruising down the Castlefield Canal, or any other canal in Manchester!

Manchester is the highest-ranked British city, apart from London of course, and is the third-most visited city in the UK!

It’s famous for it’s universities and seats of academic learning, architecture, art and culture, museums and galleries, theatre, literature, nightclubs and bars, cinema, music, Manchester Pride, the BBC, science and engineering, sport and excellent transportation. In fact, Manchester has loads of river canals which you can cruise along, free trams that you can use in the city centre, and Liverpool Road train station, which is the first inter-city passenger railway station in the world!

Manchester has about half a million people.

Now that Brexit & Article 50 has been triggered, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

So of course, when terrorism came to my home-town and therefore, my city, I was saddened and outraged.

This act of terrorism was not only cowardly, but taken out in an area where teenagers and young children were watching a fabulous concert of Ariana Grande.

Everyone was most upset.

And so was  I.

Everyone was most upset.

My fellow Mancunians rallied round to give each other comfort and support.

They are brave, and so must we all be.

This was not the first time that Manchester has been bombed by terrorists, as the IRA tried to destroy the city in 1996, and sadly, it won’t be the last.

And this time it came very close to home, as the office of my brother – The Writer – is opposite the Manchester Arena! I rang home in the middle of the night with a shaking hand!

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

And I’m just so sad.

The terrorist have have struck my continent and attacked my country.

This wonderful continent of Europe might make tourists and visitors wonder.

They might think that perhaps travelling abroad isn’t all it’s made out to be.

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

They might think that Europe isn’t the place to be after all!

My blog isn’t about politics, and I’m not a politician or a secret agent, so outside of the odd look-between-the-lines rant, I can’t tell you what to do, or advice you as to who best to run your country. Or mine!

What I can tell you is how to cope, and how to keep on living, doing whatever it is you’re doing.

I’m a British person and I live in Europe. People are worried and concerned:

I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL TO THE UK!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

You don’t need to be.

However!

I’ll tell you something for nothing.

We Brits are as stoic as we come.

Britain is thousands of years old and has been through battles many, many times.

We’re not strangers to attacks.

Or threats.

Or war.

Britain is thousands of years old and has been through battles many, many times.

You’ve only got to look through the last century to see that.

Britain has been blighted by the IRA in Ireland for years, and tourists still love to come to the UK.

Spain has had train explosions from people fighting for the separation of the Basque Region from the country, and tourists still love to visit Spain.

Heck! World War II was started by a madman from Austria, who terrorised the whole continent by his fantasy of German supremacy! Not to talk of the Berlin Wall that was to divide a nation for 38 years, and tourists still love to come to Germany too!

BUT WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Manchester – And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

We must cry, and we should.

And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

Manchester people (of which I am one) are known for plain speaking, and being strong of mind.

We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! #DontLookBackInAnger.

Whatever you think of Britain, the UK is open for business, and always will be.

The point I’m trying to make is:

DON’T LET FEAR TAKE CONTROL

The London Bridge attacks were devastatingly horrible, but you’ve got to keep your head up high, have a bit of a laugh, and get yourself a cup of tea, or in this case, take your beer with you!
©AP

During times of upsetting national news, as British people, we use bleak humour to comfort each other and rally around our community. And even though the London Bridge attacks were devastatingly horrible, you just have to keep your head up high, have a bit of a laugh and a cuddle, and get yourself a cup of tea. Or in this case, take your beer with you! So…

Walk outside your front door.

Drive your car.

Get on that train.

Take a flight.

Sail on a ship.

Take a step at a time.

Don’t let fear take control!

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO BRITAIN & THE UK ‘COS I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL ABROAD? 

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Sure it is!

Manchester isn’t #reeling, and neither is London. We’re British, we’ve got a stiff upper lip, and we’re going to get on with things, and pull through!

Millions of international tourists and travellers visit and travel through the UK every year, and most visits are completely and utterly trouble-free.

Millions of international tourists and travellers visit and travel through the UK every year, and most visits are completely & utterly trouble-free!

However, if you have any concerns, or need help, or information, I recommend the following:

  • As much as possible, stay away from large crowds and high-profile events
  • Don’t leave bags or luggage unattended. Take care of your belongings and passports at all airports and train stations
  • Remain vigilant, but don’t go crazy and finger-point at random innocent people going about their business
  • Follow the instructions of the local authorities
  • Monitor media and local information sources
  • Allow extra time for your journey due to increased security measures at airports, important train stations, and international borders
  • If you’re German, contact the Außenministerium der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Andere Länder
  • If you’re American, contact the Embassy of the United States in whichever country you’re in
  • Take out travel and medical insurance BEFORE you travel

Don’t panic. Remember:

Keep calm! Don't worry! Don’t panic!
Keep calm!
Don’t worry!
Don’t panic!

Britain is safe.

Ordinary people don’t carry weapons of any kind. There isn’t a need to!

They say that most accidents and deaths occur near to, or in the home. Statistically, you’re safer outside your home!

And if you’re still not sure take a peep.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO BRITAIN & THE UK ‘COS I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL ABROAD?

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions about taking control of travel nightmares and the fear of terrorism, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll continue my articles on Sweden.

In June, I’ll also be visiting Slovenia! Yay! Follow me on Twitter & Facebook to find out what I’m up to!

On June 24th, I’ll be at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens with Travel Massive Berlin.

From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in June, you’re crazy!

Save the Date!

June & July are going to be awesome!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

 

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

Is it safe to travel to Britain and the UK right now? Are you scared to travel abroad? Will you let terrorism take control? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©AFP / Getty Images

I didn’t want to write about this.

I wanted to write a bit more about our splendid trip to Austria.

Then Article 50 came up, and I simply couldn’t let it go without writing a few things about it.

On the 29th March, 2017, Britain said goodbye to the European Union (EU).

It was not a happy day.

For months, I’ve been involved in debating, talking, TV, radio and newspaper interviews on why my home-country is leaving the EU. In fact, just a week before Article 50, I received an offer to go on German TV to discuss my hopes and fears for Brexit!

See for yourself: Bye-bye Love: Reactions to Brexit and auf Deutsche – Bye-bye Love: Reaktionen zum Brexit.

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
@ JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s not looking pretty.

All over Europe, British expats are rushing to start the process of double-nationality, or permanent residency.

In the UK, European expats are doing the same.

Luckily for me, I’ve been living in Germany for yonks, I’m married, I’m settled, I have a corporate job, and I speak German. And quite frankly, in these uncertain times, it doesn’t hurt to have double nationality….!

However, just to re-assure you, the British Ambassador for Germany – Ambassador Sir Sebastian Wood – on the status of UK citizens in Germany,  categorically said that “there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU.” You can see his video speech here.

Brexit. Please don't go! ©Der Spiegel - Getty Images.
Brexit. Please don’t go! ©Der Spiegel – Getty Images.

After sixty (60) years of friendship, Brexit is the worse disaster that has happened to the EU since the beginning of World War 2!

Last June, my fellow British compatriots voted in a referendum on whether the UK should leave or stay in the EU.

The people voted to leave.

You know my opinion about this, but here’s a reminder:

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?
We're not leaving!
We’re not leaving!

It was quite upsetting and begins two years of wrangling, arguing, disputation, and down-right nastiness.

Brexit was triggered by a process known as Article 50.

WHAT IS ARTICLE 50 ALL ABOUT?

Theresa May’s Brexit letter in Brussels.
©Yves Herman / Reuters

Well, Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any EU member the right to quit unilaterally, and outlines the procedure for doing so.

It gives the leaving country two years to negotiate an exit deal and once it’s set in motion, it can’t be stopped except by the unanimous consent of all member states.

Once in the EU, there has never be a way, or a need, to legally leave the EU before the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007.

WHEN DID THE UK JOIN THE EU?
The UK joined the European Economic Community (the forerunner of the EU), on January 1st, 1973.

WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN UNION?

The European Union – otherwise known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving now, twenty-seven (27) European countries!

The European Union – otherwise known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving twenty-eight (28) European countries!

The idea of fostering economic co-operation, began with the Second World War notion that countries that trade together, are more likely to avoid going to war with one another!

Since then, the EU has grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, as if the member states were one country. The EU has its own currency – the euro – which is used by nineteen (19) of the member countries, its own parliament, and it’s own laws, rules and regulations. With a GDP of more than $18,000 billion, and a population of more than 500m, the EU is the largest economy in the world!

HAS ANY MEMBER STATE EVER LEFT THE EU?
No nation-state has ever left the EU before. Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

THE UK HAS LEFT THE EU. WOULD IT BE ABLE TO REJOIN IN THE FUTURE?

No nation-state has ever previously left the EU.
Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

Yes!

The UK would have to start from scratch with no rebate, and enter in to accession talks with the EU. And every member state would have to agree to the UK re-joining! However, the issue of UK demands which Britain had before, would no longer be put into consideration.

WHAT IS THE LISBON TREATY?

The Lisbon Treaty (which became law in December 2009) is designed to make the EU “more democratic, more transparent and more efficient” and is an agreement signed by the heads of state and governments of countries that are EU members.

WHEN WAS ARTICLE  50 TRIGGERED?

Article 50 &Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 shortly before 12:30pm on March 29 2017, giving Britain a final official date of leaving the EU of no later than April 2019!

WHAT ARE THE REAL DETAILS OF ARTICLE 50?

The real details of Article 50…!

There are five elements to Article 50:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Article 50 means that for the next two (2) years, Britain must thrash out a deal for leaving the EU. It’s a process that’s likely to be lengthy, complicated, and painful for all, as any deal must be approved by a “qualified majority” of EU member states, and can be vetoed by the European Parliament.

WHAT IS BREXIT ALL ABOUT AGAIN?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Brexit is a shorthand way of referring to the British exit from the EU. It is a word that merges “Britain” and “Exit” thus creating “Brexit” similar to the term “Grexit,” which was used to refer to the possibility that Greece might leave the Eurozone.

WHAT IS A REFERENDUM?
A referendum is a vote in which anyone of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast, is considered to have won.

Yes (leave), won!

WHY DID WE HAVE A BREXIT REFERENDUM IN THE FIRST PLACE?

I might not have liked the outcome, but a Brexit Referedum was promised!
©Reuters / David Moir

David Cameron – the then British Prime Minister – promised to make this happen if he won the 2015 general election.

He won!

This act was in a response to the “European question in British politics,” reduced influence in European rules and regulations, and agitated calls from members of his own political party – the Conservatives – and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who argued that Britain had not had a real say about issues since 1975, when it voted to stay in the EU, in a referendum at the time!

HOW LONG WILL BREXIT TAKE?

The official process of Brexit is supposed to take two years, but experts believe that it could take longer. The timescale can be extended, but only by the unanimous consent of the European Council, which technically means that every member state would have to agree.

The terms of exit will be negotiated between Britain’s 27 other counterparts, and each will have a veto over the conditions. Triggering Article 50 starts the clock. After this, the Treaties that govern membership no longer apply to Britain.

IS BREXIT REALLY GOING TO BE AN ISSUE FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©Jonathan McHugh

On paper, not at all.

In reality, it’s all very complicated.

The agreement of a new trade relationship, economic tariffs, and the issue of free movement is going to be a sore topic, and could take a process of up to five (5) years!

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ANYWAY?

The EU is like a family and like all families, you have disagreements, and quarrels.

Well the thing is, the EU is like a family and like all families, you have disagreements, and quarrels. What you don’t do is threaten to leave the family unit, and hope to live happily ever after. Or worse, have all your demands fulfilled.

The fact is, other family members, although they love each other, believe in tough love, and don’t want to encourage tantrums, otherwise, everyone else will be threatening to leave too!

In short, European leaders want the agreements and conditions to be effective and brutal, so that other member states are discouraged from following suit…!

WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP FOR THE UK?

The Govt & many of the British working classes want Hard Brexit, but hopefully, common sense will allow a softer Brexit instead!
©NurPhoto via Getty Images

Theresa May (the British Prime Minsiter) plans to transpose EU laws onto British statutes allowing the Government to analyse and reject whatever laws it sees fit.

To do this, the UK government would have to perform three acts simultaneously:

  • Negotiate a new deal with Brussels
  • Win a series of major bilateral trade deals around the world
  • Revise its own governance as EU law recedes

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – David Davis – will be supervising the process.

ANY POSSIBLE FUTURE PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF BREXIT?

The potential for the United Kingdom itself to Break Up is more possible than you can ever imagine, as Northern Ireland might decide to Re-Unite with the Republic!

Sadly, yes.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE EU ITSELF?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©Claudio Cadei – CartoonMovement

The focus is on driving a hard bargain on the rights of European citizens in Britain, and likewise, British citizens in Europe, making negotiations with the UK that we can all live with whilst at the same time, keeping the EU together, making demands that still open markets for trade on friendly terms, and unity on security and military co-operation to fight terrorism and crime, whether the nation-state is part of the EU or not.

WHY I THINK BRITAIN SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE EU?

The outcome of Brexit was crazy!
@Visit England – Rich J Jones

Britain is important. What we do or don’t do, matters.

Moreover, being a part of the EU gives Britain a boost in almost every way. We’re able to do business in the “single market,” we would be able to attract the best minds all over the world, who complement our economic prosperity, as well as our social future in the guise of helping to pay and provide for public services. To stay in the EU is to receive a big boost in reciprocal membership.

It’s simple really.

If we’re in the European Union, we have a say on what goes on within – economically, socially, and politically. We’ll be a secure part of one of the best clubs in the world – a 28-nation club – exclusively set up to protect and look out for each other.

At a time of extreme danger to our way of life, and an increase in terrorism, we  need the EU.

Now that we’ve opt to leave the Union, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

And really isolated from the rest of the Continent.

Now that Brexit & Article 50 has been triggered, as an island nation. We’re out. Alone.

Is anyone going to win?

Not really.

ARTICLE 50 & BREXIT IN THE UK. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
©Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

This article isn’t sponsored and all opinions connected to Brexit & Article 50, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll be writing my last article about Austria!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in April. Well then?

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!
Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

What do you think of Brexit & Article 50? Do you fear it,or do you agree with it? Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!