Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

I feel I should ‪‎rant‬.

The Brexit vote stunned us all.

Even though the outcome was expected to be close, the final opinion polls had pointed to a narrow victory for Remain in Europe, and was given a mighty blow when the real outcome stuck at Leave!

Britain’s decision to leave the EU is the biggest assault on the unity of Europe since World War Two!

I’m not ‪‎shocked‬ anymore just ‪‎angry,‬ and bitterly‬ surprised‬, at how close we came to establishing ‪‎common sense‬ with Vote Remain, on the ‬UK’s EU referendum!

‪As a result of the appalling outcome, the British Prime Minister – ‎David Cameron‬ ‪- had no choice but to ‎resign. 

And so he should!

David Cameron on Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
David Cameron on Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

I don’t usually write about politics on my blog, but what an ‪‎idiot!

David Cameron will be remembered as the man who orchestrated the ‪‎split‬ of 369 years of the Scottish joint establishment with the ‪‎United Kingdom‬, and probably go down in ‪‎history as the person ‬who began the wave of the breakdown, and fracture, of a 43 year international relationship with our neighbours – members of the ‪‎European Union!

To get my reaction, I was pretty much everywhere last week, making one statement after another, in this or that form of media.

But the one that I liked the most was the lovely TV news piece that I did with a German TV station called Deutsche Welle (DW), which is one of the world’s biggest international broadcasters, providing a broad picture of political and cultural life in Europe. A bit like the BBC, but mainly about Germany!

I was contacted by the Culture Department who wanted to do a piece for their TV magazine – Euromaxx. They wanted to talk to well-known British people who live in Berlin and to record our response to the awful outcome of the referendum.

I was looking forward to talking about how happy I would be. On June 23rd, I was sending social media messages on all my social media feeds, right, left, and center, pretty much all day.

And then.

It wasn’t a happy outcome!

But you know, I'm a professional, as is Jeremy Corbyn! @Toby Melville / Reuters
But you know, I’m a professional, as is Jeremy Corbyn!
@Toby Melville / Reuters

But you know, I’m a professional and so with my shoulders back and my head held high, I put on a pretty dress and went for my TV interview.

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

I think I did a good job!

This referendum was a complete and utter mess, and revealed the multiple cracks in a disunited kingdom – London and cosmopolitan, intellectual, middle class, younger Britain, on one side, and rural, provincial, working class, old-age pensioner England on the other.

Myself at the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It. 2015 © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself at the Berlin Music Video Awards with Roc Roc It.
2015
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I’m so glad that I live in Germany right now!

On the assumption that the people have spoken, and democracy has taken effect, Britain will have to live with the political, constitutional, diplomatic, and economic consequences, and that starts with the shockwaves effect of other European nations calling for the same thing, and thus, creating a domino effect.

WHAT HAPPENED?
A referendum was held on Thursday June 23rd, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain, in the European Union.

Leave won by 52% to 48%.

HOW DID PEOPLE VOTE?
Both England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit, whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. I’m proud to say that both Manchester and London voted for Remain.

BRITAIN IS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

On paper. Nothing!

There’s no need for anyone to panic just yet!

It all depends on negotiations with the other EU member states. As I told you last week, no nation-state has ever left the EU except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

However, the first goal is to calm everyone down!

The financial market is all in a frenzy, Europeans are wearing shrouds and the Americans are having a bit of a laugh at our expense!

For the UK to leave the EU it has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Once this is invoked, the formal legal process of EU separation will begin. Britain will have two (2) years to negotiate its withdrawal.

This article was only written up in late 2009 and hasn’t been tested, so no-one really knows how the Brexit process will work.

EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – and that process could take some time. Until then, the UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiates a withdrawal agreement, and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc!

I'm British! Now what?
I’m British! Now what?

WHAT ABOUT UK CITIZENS WORKING IN THE EU?
It depends.

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

Working in the EU could become more difficult for UK expats, if host countries ask them to comply with more restrictive rules when it comes to permits, and setting up businesses. They may lose their automatic right to work within the EU area, and be asked to apply for Blue Cards.

It’s very unlikely that people already living and working abroad will be sent back to the UK, but it could become substantially more difficult for new expats to find work on the Continent, due to employment laws in 15 member nations, which states that non-EU citizens can only be hired, if no other suitable candidate has been found within the EU area.

She's an EU citizen. Just look at her gorgeous clothes!
She’s an EU citizen.
Just look at her gorgeous clothes!

WHAT ABOUT EU CITIZENS WORKING IN THE UK?
Again, it depends.

If the UK decides to introduce a work permit system (as it applies to non-EU citizens), then entry will be limited to skilled workers, in professions where there are shortages.

WILL A VISA BE NEEDED WHEN TRAVELLING OR ON VACATION?
Highly unlikely as the tourist pound will always be welcome.

British citizens can already visit many non-EU countries for up to 90 days without needing a visa, so it’s possible that such arrangements could be negotiated with European countries.

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

WILL A BRITISH PASSPORT STILL BE VALID AS A DOCUMENT?
Yes!

It is a British document – there is no such thing as an EU passport, so it will stay the same although in theory, the government could, decide to change the colour, which is currently standardised – red – for EU nations.

WHAT’S THIS SINGLE MARKET MALARKEY?
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.

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 DOES THIS MEAN FOR SCOTLAND?
Scotland’s First Minister – Nicola Sturgeon – is very unhappy, and said that it is “democratically unacceptable” that Scotland faces being taken out of the EU, when it voted to Remain, and that a second independence referendum for Scotland is “highly likely!”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NORTHERN IRELAND?
Deputy First Minister – Martin McGuinness – said the impact in Northern Ireland would be “very profound,” and that the complete island of Ireland, should now be able to vote on reunification with the Irish Republic!

The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson. Illustration @Martin Rowson
The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson.
Illustration @Martin Rowson

BRITISH POLITICS – WHICH WAY FORWARD? 
The next Prime Minister is likely to be Boris Johnson.

What lies ahead is a complicated renegotiation of our relationship with our closest neighbours and most important markets. The talks with EU leaders will require seriousness, finesse, diplomacy and a capacity for building trusting relationships. It will also require flexibility.

On the other hand, we could become like Norway!

The UK could follow the Norwegian initiative. Close to the EU but alone in the cold!
The UK could follow the Norwegian initiative.
Close to the EU but alone in the cold!

WHAT IS THE NORWAY OPTION?
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).

EEA membership gives Norway full access to the EU’s internal market, allowing it to trade goods with EU states without customs fees, except food and drink, which is subsidised by the EU. Iceland and Liechtenstein are also members of the EEA.

In return for that access, Norway is obliged to implement all the EU’s laws relating to the internal market implementing about three-quarters of all EU legislation, including the working time directive.

Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union!
Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union!

ANY OTHER OPTION?
We could of course, go all the way, cut our losses, and opt out of any EU association completely, trading as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which deals with the global rules of trade between nations. However, experts agree that this is definitely not the way forward, and would only lead to an economic crisis.

Perhaps more!

On the other hand, Britain could choose to be like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union either but has a slightly more “hands off” relationship with the EU! 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!

Brexit won't be the birth of "New Britain," but the break up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales!
Brexit won’t be the birth of “New Britain,” but the break up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales!

THE BIRTH OF “NEW BRITAIN”?
I doubt it!

The United Kingdom itself could break apart and begin the disintegration of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales – all countries who formed that most beautiful nation – otherwise known as the United Kingdom!

The leaders of Leave might have won the Referendum, but they have not won the battle, instead they have opened Pandora’s Box, and by doing so, unleashed profound economic instability, crushed relations with our closest allies, toppled a prime minister, and jeopardized the unity of the United Kingdom!

OMG!

BREXIT: SO BRITAIN IS OUT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. NOW WHAT?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?

Quite frankly, in the political mess that we find ourselves, nobody is a winner!

So Britain has left the EU. And most of us didn’t want to.

So what!

We can leave the EU, but we can’t quit Europe.

Because Europe is our continent.

We’re stoic.

We’ve got a stiff upper lip.

We won’t let those leaders determine our future with Europe.

We’ll somehow make it through.

Haven’t we always!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what? We'll somehow make it through. @Melissa Barreiro
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what? We’ll somehow make it through.
@Melissa Barreiro

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

Next week, I’ll be writing about my love for Europe!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week from June 28th – July 1st.

Strictly Stand Up – English Comedy Night – will take place on June 29th, at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin!

The Berlin Chapter of Travel Massive and Terminal 3, will be hosting True Stories. Told Live. Digital Nomad Style as part of the Tech Open Air Festival on July 14th, at Spielfeld Digital Hub.

I’ll also be attending an Exclusive Food Tour with Fork & Walk on Wednesday, August 10th.

Save the Date!

July is going to be sunny!

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 July, you’re missing all the fun!

Watch this space!

Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union. Now what?
Brexit: So Britain is out of the European Union.
Now what?

Were you surprised by the fact that Britain voted to leave the European Union? Do you think the UK is right to leave the EU or wrong to leave 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

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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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