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

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BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know! @Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!
@Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In less than a week, we (British people) are going to vote in a most important election that will not only affect the United Kingdom, but that of its neighbours’ – members of the European Union (the EU) too.

If you’re a British expat living abroad within the last 15 years, you should have registered as an overseas elector. This entitles you to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK – wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections. The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June has passed.

For more information on overseas voting, please go here.

Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea on the rbb Abendshow LIVE! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea on the rbb Abendshow LIVE!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

As The British Berliner and therefore, a British expat myself, I have been invited by various press and media organisations, to make comment on my views, and what it means.

Indeed, as the local British expert on socio-political things topics concerning Britain and the UK, I  have been regularly solicited. In fact, this week, I was so booked-up, I even had to turn down a few requests!

I was asked to participate in a short TV report on the 5th wedding anniversary of William & Kate for the European Culture Euromaxx programme of Deutsche Welle TV. I talked about the image of the monarchy and their role as a modern couple.  Deutsche Welle (DW) TV is a bit like the BBC, but made to promote German culture instead!

They really liked my part and sent me the link, but it was a busy time in my office so I hadn’t realized that it would only be available for a week, before it disappeared!

Sadly, I haven’t got a record of it and I was wearing my pink polka-dotted trench coat too!

We're not leaving! We're European too!
We’re not leaving. We’re European too!

Not long after, one of the Editors of FOCUS Magazin contacted me. She had seen my blog, and wanted to get my views on how British people living in Germany were feeling about the referendum.

The Magazine is based in Munich, so she interviewed me over the phone.

I was contacted by a reporter from the German Radio Station rbb Inforadio (ARD), who was doing a report about the Brexit discussion leading up to the referendum.

I had worked with the rbb station before so I was very happy to work with them again.

Berlin - very British - rbb
Berlin – very British – rbb

She wanted to meet me in person to do the interview and in fact, used to live in my Berlin gentrified neighbourhood!

We went to a French restaurant nearby, and over a few glasses of red wine, she whipped out her microphone and interviewed me!

Last week, I was contacted by many other media organisations but I was only able to accept a few because….drum roll pleeeeeease!

I'm going to be on radioeins - Radio 1! Die radioeins Morgenshow
I’m going to be on radioeins – Radio 1!
Die radioeins Morgenshow

I’m going to be on radioeins (Die radioeins Morgenshow) or in English – ‪‎on the Radio1‬ Morning Show with Stefan Rupp and Christoph Azone on Der schöne Morgen!

It’s a very busy time right now, so they’re going to ring me at home, and you’ll be able to hear me (pretty much LIVE), and speaking in German!

It’ll be broadcast on Monday morning (20.06.16) at 09:35!

Huge Gulp!

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

But the most exciting biggest news of all, is that I was invited to join in a documentary‬ by a well-known British‬ ‪‎standup‬ / comedian,‬ for a famous‬ British TV station‬!

I can’t say more than that, except that I’m really thrilled!

I’ll be talking about Brexit‬ and how it affects ‪‎British expats‬ living in ‪‎Germany‬ and ‪‎Europe‬.

Marvellous stuff!

Now that I’ve told you what I’ve been up to, let’s get down to the serious stuff:

BREXIT: THE UK’s EU REFERENDUM – REAL FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know! ©Alamy
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!
©Alamy

WHAT IS BREXIT ALL ABOUT?
Brexit is a shorthand way of referring to a possible 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.

WHY ARE WE HAVING A BREXIT REFERENDUM IN THE FIRST PLACE?
David Cameron – the British Prime Minister – promised to make this happen if he won the 2015 general election.

He did!

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!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

WHEN IS THE EU REFERENDUM TAKING PLACE?
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE UK VOTES FOR BREXIT?
It’s difficult to say as nobody seems to know the details!

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

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

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS THINK?
Most Economists believe that leaving the EU would be a fatal damaging step for the British economy.

However, some experts think that technically, it would be possible for Britain to leave the EU, thus removing the right for the free movement of EU citizens, whilst at the same time retaining access to the EU single trade market. Other experts believe that the UK could follow the Norwegian initiative which is not to be a member state of the European Union (EU), but to have a close association through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), or like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union either! In this case, relations between Switzerland and the European Union are framed by a series of bilateral treaties that allow Switzerland to participate in trading agreements.

In short, having our cake and eating it!

Athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, running for their country.
Athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, running for their country.

WHO CAN VOTE IN THE UK’s EU REFERENDUM?
Anybody who is a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen (including Australia, Canada, India, and 48 other Commonwealth nations who are living in the UK), citizens of British overseas territories, such as the Falkland Islands, Bermuda or Gibraltar, and “special” EU citizens from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, over the age of 18 and resident in the UK. Expat British people can also vote, if they are UK nationals who have lived abroad for less than 15 years.

HOW DO YOU VOTE?
If you have registered to vote, you’ll be sent a card telling you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on June 23rd. On that day, when you go to the polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the referendum question on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice, and put the paper into a ballot box. Alternatively, you would have been able to opt to vote by post.

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum. Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum.
Real facts you should know!

WHY SHOULD BRITAIN STAY IN THE EU?
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.

If we opt to leave the Union, then as an island nation. We’ll be out. Alone.

And really isolated from the rest of the Continent.

The United Kingdom is an island nation. We'll be out. Alone.
The United Kingdom is an island nation.
We’ll be out. Alone.

WHY SHOULD BRITAIN LEAVE THE EU?
According to the latest opinion polls, the British public are fairly evenly split.

Some people believe that Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business, and charges huge amounts of money, for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders, and reduce the number of people coming to live and/or work, as one of the main principles of EU membership is free movement within member or associated member states. They also don’t like the idea of an “ever closer union,” and what they see as the beginning of a movement towards the creation of a “United States of Europe.”

WHAT ABOUT BUSINESS?
Business is generally in favour of Britain staying within the EU, due to the ease and flexibility to move people, products, and finance structures, around the world.

On the other hand, there are some business agencies who favour negotiating trade deals with individual countries, “rather than being one of 28 nations.” Many small and medium-sized firms would also welcome a cut in red tape and “petty regulations.”

SO WHO’S CAMPAIGNING?

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

BRITAIN STRONGER IN EUROPE: The main cross-party group campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU is headed by former Marks and Spencer (M&S) Chairman Lord Rose. Influential backing also includes Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, the Lib Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Alliance party, the SDLP in Northern Ireland, and the Green Party.

LABOUR IN FOR BRITAIN: Headed by the party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Alan Johnson, and supported by most Labour MPs.

REMAIN: The Scottish National Party (SNP) is running its own Remain campaign in Scotland, as it does not want to share a platform with the Conservatives. Several smaller groups have also registered to campaign.

VOTE LEAVE: A cross-party campaign that has the backing of senior Conservatives such as Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, plus a handful of Labour MPs, including Gisela Stuart and Graham Stringer, the UKIP’s Douglas Carswell and Suzanne Evans, and the DUP in Northern Ireland. Former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson and SDP founder Lord Owen, are also involved.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage is not part of Vote Leave, but his party is running its own campaign.

OUT: The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition is also running its own out campaign.

FARMERS FOR BRITAIN

MUSLIMS FOR BRITAIN

OUT and PROUD.

All three are affiliated groups that are anti – EU.

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

IF THE UK LEFT THE EU, WOULD UK CITIZENS NEED SPECIAL PERMITS TO WORK IN THE EU?
It depends!

If the UK remained within the single market, it would almost certainly retain free movement rights allowing UK citizens to work in the EU, and vice versa. If the government opted to impose work permit restrictions, then other countries could reciprocate, meaning British people would have to apply for visas in order to work in Europe.

IF THE UK LEFT THE EU, HOW WOULD THIS AFFECT EU NATIONALS WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE UK?
Again, it depends!

If the UK government decided to introduce a work permit system of the kind that currently applies to non-EU citizens, limiting entry to skilled workers in professions where there are shortages, then EU nations would most likely reciprocate, and do the same.

HOW LONG WOULD ALL THE PAPERWORK TAKE?
The minimum period after a vote to leave, would be two years.

During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making. In practice it would probably take longer than two years, depending on how negotiations would go.

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

IF THE UK LEFT THE EU, WOULD IT BE ABLE TO REJOIN IN THE FUTURE?
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 has now, would not be put into consideration.

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 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!

The free movement of goods, services, money, and people within the European Union, is good for business.
The free movement of goods, services, money, and people within the European Union, is good for business.

WHAT IS THE SINGLE MARKET?
The European Union single market, developed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money, and people, within the European Union, as if it were a single country.

The idea was to boost trade, create jobs, and lower prices. However, it requires a common law to ensure products are made to the same technical standards and level of quality and expectation. Critics say it generates too many petty regulations, and robs members of control over their own nations. Other critics state mass migration (free movement) as having been abused by poorer East European countries who flock to wealthier West European nations.

SO WOULD BRITAIN BE BETTER IN OR OUT?

I think you know my answer to that, and I’ll be in the German media throughout the week discussing it!

Would Britain be better In the EU or Out of the EU? ©Philippe Huguen
Would Britain be better In the EU or Out of the EU?
©Philippe Huguen

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions connected to this most important referendum, are my very own!

From June 28th – July 2nd, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

Save the Date!

June is going to be outrageous darling!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in June, you must be out of your mind!

Watch this space!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

Would Britain be better In the EU or Out of the EU? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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

 

To be or not to be? That isn’t a question, that’s the Queen’s dinner & a Night Out with William Shakespeare!

A Crown fit for a Queen, or any of the other Kings!
A Crown fit for a Queen, or any of the other Kings!

Last week was so exciting and was very, very British!

Why, you might ask?

Well, it was the Queen’s birthday as well as being the birth and death of William Shakespeare!

I know!!

Anyhoo!

I was invited to participate in a gala show and performance celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOUR MAJESTY!

Royal Mail Stamps with the Queen's head!
Royal Mail Stamps with the Queen’s head!

The Queen was 90!

Wow!

I’ve always found her to be absolutely marvellous and looking equally amazing at 90, as she did at 19!

I remember the letter that she commanded her Lady-in-Waiting to send me, in which I nattered away about my family holiday at the most delicate age of 9, and I never forgot the reply!

I was so proud!

WHEN IS THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY?

The Queen is 90!
The Queen is 90!

The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April, and her official birthday on (usually), the second Saturday in June!

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday, a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park, and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London!

On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour Parade, which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and Horseguards’ Parade, as well as a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

And in case you didn’t know, and of course, you did!

Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!
Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!

Queen Elizabeth II has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history becoming a much-loved, and respected figure, across the globe.

Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, and undertake many historic overseas visits. Not only is she known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, but she also carries out all of her duties against the backdrop of a full personal life, which has seen her raise four children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren, to the Royal Family.

Her Majesty has been, and continues to be, an important figurehead for the UK, the Commonwealth, and indeed, the world! At a time of enormous discord and strive, she remains unswayed, and ever solid and constant.

Her birthday celebration was a great day and made me feel proud to be British, and a part of the pomp and pageantry.

Long Live the Queen!

A DINNER FOR THE QUEEN!

The Queen's favorite dishes!
The Queen’s favorite dishes!

I was invited to honour the Queen and enjoy an exquisite gala evening at the Wintergarten Varieté theatre in Berlin.

The Wintergarten Varieté Berlin is a venue that was considered one of the stage entertainment places to be, between 1887 and 1943.

Today, the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin is a large variety theatre and located in a different part of Berlin known as Schöneberg which is a stylish, leafy suburb with boulevards and open-air markets, just great for lovely Saturday morning walks at a local farmers’ market by day and Berlin’s popular centre of gay life and community, by night!

Going bonkers at Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn in Berlin! @ R.Pater
Going bonkers at Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn in Berlin!
@ R.Pater

I’ve written about shows at the Wintergarten Varieté theatre in the past. Here they are below:

On this occasion, it was a black tie affair with a distinct British flair so I invited another member of the British community to accompany me – The Tall Young Gentleman – otherwise known as my tween son!

We had a delightful evening hosted by one of my musical friends and fellow MancurianJack Woodhead – and the internationally acclaimed Australian artist – Sarah Bowden.

We were comfortably seated having arrived early and shown to our table, pretty much at the front of the stage, when the rest of the table (a group of 4) asked if we could swap seats as the rest of their party were on the other table!

Of course, we obliged.

A basket of warm bread and creamy-chived butter!
A basket of warm bread and creamy-chived butter!

We started with an apertif of prosecco (for me) and orange juice (for the tween), accompanied by a basket of warm bread and creamy-chived butter. And then a camera crew swooped in.

Imagine my annoyance when the TV reporter looked briefly around in some sort of confusion, and then quickly proceeded to interview the pleased but startled middle-aged man, who was seated in the chair that I had just left!

After about a minute, they switched off the camera light, took off the mics, and belted out the left hand stage door!

Me being thoughtful and looking as if I'm about to sing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful and looking as if I’m about to sing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Hmmmrff! Have I become one of those people..”but don’t you know who I am?!!!”

I hope not. Eeeek!

Jack took us through an artistic-culinary programme bursting with artists and performers, not only from the United Kingdom, but other Commonwealth nations too!

And then we had our starter.

A bowl of cream of apple cider soup with fresh chopped chives and butter croutons. Yum!
A bowl of cream of apple cider soup with fresh chopped chives and butter croutons.
Yum!

We had a bowl of cream of apple cider soup with fresh chopped chives and butter croutons. Yum!

After that, we had the 40-strong (!) choir – The Embassy Singers – from the British Embassy in Berlin who did a marvellous job of entertaining us.

Next, were more friends of ours, the hilarious comedy duo Carrington-Brown, who came along with their cello – Joe!

Somewhere along those lines thereafter, we had our main course.

We were served roast beef à la Wellington. Delicious but chewy!
We were served roast beef à la Wellington.
Delicious but chewy!

We were served roast beef à la Wellington with Cumberland sauce, sautéed green asparagus and mashed potatoes.

Everything was wonderful except for the roast beef. It would have been nice if it had been rare. It was however, well-done, but a bit chewy for my taste.

Ah well, “The Tall Young Gentleman” was pleased, as he had the most important job of polishing it off, while I had his cumberland sauce!

After dinner, the sexy-gracious English aerial artist Emily Kinch gave us a lovely acrobatic performance.

Another of our personal friends also came on – Sanjay Shihora – a talented artist and famous TV comedian from India, as well as being the owner of a well-established comedy club called Kookaburra, which we all used to hang out in, back in the day, before everyone got famous lol!

And soon it was time for dessert.

Rhubarb crumble and custard.
Rhubarb crumble and custard.

We had maple syrup-walnut pudding and rhubarb crumble and custard.

I’m allergic to nuts so I had two servings of rhubarb crumble sprinkled with strawberries and cherry compote, while “The Tall Young Gentleman” had two servings of maple syrup-walnut pudding!

After that performance, we had an onslaught of British music from the British / German conductor Rainer Hersch who was just a bellyfull of laughs and very, very funny with his Quartet orchestra and his slap-stick humour! 

Not long after, the leader and singer of the Savoy Dance Orchestra from Berlin and former lead singer of the legendary Pasadena Roof Orchestra – Robin Merrill – breezed in, in full jacket and tails as he had rushed over from another performance on German TV!

A fine reminder of the Last Night of the Proms,
A fine reminder of the Last Night of the Proms,

There was more charming music and a hell of a lot more laughs and towards the end we rounded up with the The Embassy Singers once again, an enthralling black and white video and pictorial archive of selective insights, into the most significant stages, of the life-time of Queen Elizabeth II. As well as a fine reminder of the Last Night of the Proms with pieces such as “We’ll meet again,” and “Land of Hope and Glory.”

It was during the singing of “Rule Britannia” that a gulp came into my throat and a little tear of nostalgia and happiness, that the Queen had made it.

Long may she live!

I had a great time. Thanks very much Wintergarten Varieté!

AND NOW, FOR A TINY BIT OF SHAKESPEARE!

A potrait of William Shakespeare.
A potrait of William Shakespeare.

I love Shakespeare!

Everywhere you go and in my opinion, everywhere you look, there is something influenced by the books and writings of Shakespeare!

As you know, last week was not only the Queen’s birthday  but Shakespeare’s birthday too!

On April 23rd.

In fact, that day not only marked William Shakespeare’s birth, but also his death!

Shakespeare in Love!

2016 was the 400th anniversary of lifetime and all over the world was a live broadcasting showing of Shakespeare Live! From the RSC in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, hosted by David Tennant!

I have to confess that the marketing of Shakespeare in Berlin was so dismal and cruelly inadequate, such that I took up the marketing myself and started blasting my Twitter and Facebook feed, so that my friends and followers would know.

I mean, firstly, there were only two cinemas that were showing the broadcast.

In the whole city!

And secondly, when I went to buy my ticket on April 19th, just 4 days before the showing, only six (6) seats had been sold.

Six!

The house of Anne Hathaway - Shakespeare's wife!
The house of Anne Hathaway – Shakespeare’s wife!

I was amazed and utterly annoyed. So I swung into action and started telling everyone all about it!

Even with all the palaver, I still had a very awesome night.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate were marvellous and even Prince Charles joined in, and made a cameo appearance and was a very good sport!

Let’s just say “To be, or not to be, that is the QUESTION!” or “To be, OR not to be, that is the question!”

It was enormously funny, watch and see for yourself right here lol!

Me thinks there’s a PR job somewhere with my name on it. Hint! Hint!

TO BE OR NOT TO BE? THAT ISN’T A QUESTION. THAT’S A NIGHT OUT WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!

Shakespeare Lives and there's the living proof. Oh yeah. The skull!
Shakespeare Lives and there’s the living proof.
Oh yeah. The skull!

WHAT IS SHAKESPEARE LIVES AND SHAKESPEARE 400?

King Ed VI - William Shakespeare.
King Ed VI – William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Lives and Shakespeare 400 is:

  • A life’s work.
  • A 400-year legacy.
  • A year of celebrations.

It’s also a worldwide celebration of the enduring global impact, relevance and creativity of William Shakespeare – the world’s best known Briton – and the UK’s most successful cultural export ever, on the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. All over the world are activities and events in more than 140 countries, new creative commissions, partnerships with the UK’s most influential cultural institutions, and a global social media campaign to reach millions of people.

Phew!

FUN FACTS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE!

The hilarious chaps from "Horrible Histories!"
The hilarious chaps from “Horrible Histories!”
  • Shakespeare holds the Guinness World Record for being the most filmed author in the world!
  • The word ‘love’ appears 2,191 times in the complete works of Shakespeare!
  • His plays are set in 12 countries, with cities in present-day Italy being Shakespeare’s favourite.
  • Shakespeare lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, a handsome market town 20 miles south-east of Birmingham a little over two (2) hours from London. I’ve been there and it’s a lovely place with lots of huge swans that bite!
  • Shakespeare married an older woman – Anne Hathaway – who was three months pregnant at the time!
  • The only comedy set in the UK is The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  • Since 1960, there have been publications and productions of Hamlet in more than 75 languages!
  • Hamlet has even been translated into Klingon, Esperanto, and Interlingua!
  • Romeo and Juliet has been performed in 24 countries in the last ten years.
  • Very little is known about the life of William Shakespeare, but between about 1590 and 1613, he wrote at least 37 plays and 154 sonnets!
The gorgeous David Tennant as William Shakespeare's Richard II.
The gorgeous David Tennant as William Shakespeare’s Richard II.
  • William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets have been adapted into 420 feature films and TV-movies!
  • Shakespeare wrote many plays and many poems. The most famous among his 10 tragedies are Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear.
  • Shakespeare’s best-known poems are The Sonnets, first published in 1609.
  • West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins) was inspired by Romeo and Juliet.
  • Kiss Me, Kate (George Sidney) was inspired by The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Forbidden Planet (Nicholas Nayfack) was inspired by The Tempest.
  • Looking for Richard (Al Pacino) was inspired by Richard III.
  • The most popular name from a Shakespeare play used today is Olivia.
  • Romeo and Juliet is based on an Italian folktale, which Shakespeare read in translation.
  • Shakespeare’s epitaph wards off would-be grave robbers with a curse and indeed, Shakespeare’s remains have yet to be disturbed!
  • It’s believed that Shakespeare wore a gold hoop earring, as he lived a bohemian lifestyle and was not a pirate!
  • Some people think Shakespeare was a fraud and was not to be!
Illuminating Shakespeare Artists' Impression.
Illuminating Shakespeare Artists’ Impression.

That’s it for now!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary invitation, all opinions and the scrumptious rhubarb crumble and custard that I had at the Gala, are my very own!

In the summer I’ll be going to Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and possibly Russia!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be finalising my writing about Spain and focusing on Portugal!

Sometime between now and May 1st, I’ll be visiting the interactive exhibition Discover Mexico or Entdecke Mexiko taking place on Washingtonplatz. It’s free to the public. Go see!

On April 27th, I’ll be attending STRICTLY STAND-UP – The English Comedy Night Show!

On April 29th, the TV interviewed that I did for Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcasting station), about the 5th wedding anniversary of our very own William & Kate, will be broadcast! As soon as I get the exact details, I’ll inform you all via Twitter and Facebook!

On May 5th, I’ll be at a Travel Massive & DNX Mingle so if you’re a blogger or just interested in travel, lifestyle or travel technology, then come and meet us! Registration and attendance is free of charge!

From May 18th – May 22nd, I’ll be at the Berlin Music Video Award ceremony.

April is hopping!

Berlin is going to be so much fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you must be bonkers!

Watch this space!

To be or not to be? That isn't a question, that's the Queen's dinner & a Night Out with William Shakespeare!
To be or not to be? That isn’t a question, that’s the Queen’s dinner & a Night Out with William Shakespeare!

Would you choose dinner with the Queen? Would you choose beer with Shakespeare? Or do you prefer rhubard and custard?

See you in Berlin.

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