For obvious reasons I am very concerned about any post-Brexit legal settlement for EEA nationals in the United Kingdom. Whatever my loyalties, my silly little burgundy booklet still carries the legend “Bundesrepublik Deutschland” just under “Europäische Union”. For Britons living on the Continent and Europeans living in Britain, a just settlement is a necessity.
To an extent I can understand frustrations on the European side. HM’s government hasn’t exactly been “on topic”. Any Briton who settles on the Continent prior to 30 March 2019 will retain exactly the rights s/he holds now. This is per the letter of European law and is in no way, shape or form surprising. The British government has not provided nearly as much clarity in this respect. I do not, however, think that the EU is being entirely fair. The common law is not a Continental system and its workings are almost beyond comprehension for those unfortunate enough to know nothing but the rude and primitive mechanics of Roman Law. “Settled status” isn’t an inferior category, it’s a legal settlement that reflects a highly unusual set of circumstances.
What I find odious is the insistence that EEA nationals in the United Kingdom should have the right of appeal to the ECJ. This would, in effect, create a de facto partial extraterritoriality. Britons would have no higher court of appeal than the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. A Pole, Italian or Swede would have this right — and the right of appeal to the Curia at Luxembourg. This is something of which I disapprove strongly. One of the main reasons why I prefer to settle permanently in England-Wales is common law. I do not trust Continental legal systems. At the moment the German legal system is giving me grey hairs. No, I’m not in any sort of legal trouble but there are some family travails in which I’m now caught up as a bystander. It’s sickens me to the point that, upon acquiring a British passport I will be sorely tempted to renounce German citizenship if that act isn’t tantamount to the same.
3 thoughts on “Silly Amphibians”
Mornin’ tru, Christopher. I look forward to the day when I can swap the hated burgundy booklet for the nice dark blue one beloved of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects. Having been here 15 years I have legal residência in Portugal, proven by a grotty bit of A4 on which the hateful stars of the EU are the most prominent feature, though I would never go as far as taking the Portuguese citizenship to which I am also entitled. This makes me, I suppose, a second-class citizen, something the Eurocrats are all aerated about for political reasons, but it bothers me not a jot.
Personally, I think the whole residence thing is a red herring and a veritable crock of poo. People have been living in other countries for centuries, certainly long before the nightmare of European federalism was even an itch in Jean Monnet’s underpants. If all the Brits were turfed out of Algarve, for example, the region would revert to an 19th century agrarian economy within a decade, likewise the east and southern coasts of Spain, Provence, the Dordogne, which still is, and the prettier parts of Italy. Luxembourg, Belgium and even Holland they can keep – we are not interested. The Barmpots and Drunkers of this world, and that floppy haired, speccy Belgian effort, have developed delusions of adequacy way above their station. Before they start dictating ‘terms’ to the UK, let them try telling Trump that a Latvian living in Florida is subject to EU law and the ECJ rather than ‘Murican state and federal statute and see how far they get.
Harrumphh! Where’s my coffee?
Extraterritoriality? That’s coining par excellence! 🙂
OZ, I’m officially resident here too – 14 years and counting. I pay tax in UK and DK and have no desire to have a Viking passport or dual wotsit. It would make no difference either to me or to the natives who regard me as an ‘invandrer’ beyond redemption anyway.
Oz: The return of the blue passport is nigh. The current design will be replaced for a new, more secure version. It happens that said design is better suited for a blue cover.
The EU is receiving all the attention at the moment, but they’re not the only ones with a say. National governments will have to approve any deal and they must be consulted at all times. El pais de los Dagos mas Dodgies, in spite of its incoherent rants about Gibraltar, is not willing to see any pensioners leave. In fact, they’re keen on as many British pensioners as possible continuing to come. They need the money. The frogs as just as hesitant to see large swathes of the country collapse economically. There is too much at stake for too many countries to let the EU get away with so much knavery. The Swedes, Danes and Dutch would look terrible if one of their main markets was suddenly gone.
The focus on the UK’s political travails has allowed the EU to avoid discussing the simple fact that their side are no more united than they were 5 years ago. The EU’s problems haven’t been solved. If anything, imbalances are continuing to grow. Business cycles have changed somewhat and parts of Europe aren’t doing as badly as before. That’s not to say that things are really getting better or that the economic ground lost in large part due to disastrous policies imposed from high above will be regained for over a decade — optimistically. Let’s not forget that blessed Hunland, land of the pedants, home of the hypocrites, is a ticking time bomb. The weak euro is hiding that in some ways it is actually structurally worse than Italy. Four states have to carry the entire country and a Greek-style pension crisis is brewing. The only difference is that there is no more that can be cut.
PS: The new Hunnish passports have the EU starts emblazoned on the first page.
Janus: Extraterritoriality is a splendid word! I had to use it a lot in my student days in the context of European expatriates in Japan and China from the mid-19th to early-mid 20th centuries. I just never thought I’d see such a thing suggested for the United Kingdom! Silly Europrats, when this existed in Asia it did so only because of antiquated legal systems that had more than a little of the summary!
I have my reasons for wanting a British passport. Even if I might never entirely shake the stench of sauerkraut and bratwurst, better a GF Handel or George Mountbatten than a moaner feeling “rejected” because the UK chose to join the world and leave JC Plonker’s fantasy euro-reich behind.