June 29, 2016
This is me on France 3 TV the night before the Brexit vote. The main point I raise for British expats living and working in Europe is that without the four freedoms afforded by membership of the EU – most of us are going to be righteously stuffed if we attempt to carry on our lives abroad. Taking French nationality, I propose, may be the only solution.
In case you’re wondering what these four basic rights are:
- The free movement of goods.
- The free movement of services and freedom of establishment.
- The free movement of persons (and citizenship), including free movement of workers.
- The free movement of capital.
At the moment the UKippers and Leavers are pretending that the UK can simply do away with half of number 2 and all of number 3 and carry on as before – reducing it down to two-and-a-half freedoms. Aside from it sounding less snappy – the implications are massive, and arguably all negative in their outlook. […]
June 24, 2016
Referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of something you can’t comprehend. Vote only once by putting a cross [x] in the box next to your choice. Should the United Kingdom remain part of something you don’t understand? Yes. Remain a member of the thing, regardless. No. Leave it – like Dunkirk what!? Referendum on the […]
May 15, 2016
About five minutes into an under-8s rugby match I was refereeing last weekend one of the fresh-faced little “rugbymen” briefly interrupted proceedings with “I have a question.” I obliged him with a moment’s attention – did the penalty need explaining perhaps? “Are you Breton?” he quizzed. I’m sure Nigel Owens doesn’t have to deal with […]
January 2, 2016
It seems life in Strasbourg maybe about to get complicated for us expats, again. Having waited years for a direct UK flight to come to the city – Easyjet and Ryanair both opened routes the within the same twelve months to London. Up until 2014 we’d either had to endure the minibus service to Baden […]
December 29, 2015
A few weeks ago I vowed to find us an escape from Strasbourg on the night of total madness – known to many as Saint Sylvester or New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately it seems every hotel, hostel, campsite, chalet and guesthouse within a two hour radius of the city has been booked solid – with the […]
November 17, 2015
When I was about 13 years old our high-school English teacher asked us to write about something that we thought needed changing. As inspiration he gave us an example: Should First Division football clubs be allowed to replace the grass pitches with plastic/synthetic ones? The objective of the exercise was to express an opinion while […]
August 18, 2015
If you’ve lived in France for any length of time you will be familiar with the frozen-foods store PICARD. If you’ve never heard of it – imagine something across between Marks and Spencer’s and Iceland: rows of chest freezers brimming with top-quality, petrified nosh.
To help customers identify what’s in each freezer…
August 10, 2015
If my time as a freelancer in France has taught me anything – it’s not to trust the French state when it comes to handling anything to do with, er, anything. This rule should be applied even when things appear to be going your way. Today, I’m faced with one of those situations which at […]
August 3, 2015
I guess you might call it a case of mild reverse culture shock. Although I’ve returned to the UK regularly since emigrating, nearly ten years ago, each time I come back there is usually something about British Culture that feels somewhat alien to me. For example, this time around it’s coffee. I’m amazed at how […]