What is Brexit, and what does it potentially mean for us in Spain, and for you if you’re living and working in the UK?
What’s the Irish backstop and why is fishing so important?
We’ll explain the main points of Brexit to you in this episode.
Voice message from Alberto from Australia
If you don’t mind to answer – If you don’t mind answering (don’t mind + verb + ing)
Confidence in myself
What was the hardest part when we moved to Spain?
How long did it take us to settle down in our new homes in Spain?
Voice message from Maria from Seville
Since I’m studying – since I’ve been studying
Regarding (to) this topic
You spoke said something about it (to say something…BUT to speak about something)
Maria is ‘making the most of the situation’
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looking forward to listen to themX looking forward to listening to them
Brexit – How will it affect people in general and us in Spain?
What is Brexit? –A portmanteau of the words Britain and exit (like motel, podcast, Megxit and AIRCoholic)
Why did Brexit happen?
There was a referendum on June 23rd, 2016 when David Cameron was Prime Minister.
He thought the vote would go to remain, it went to leave. They won by 52% of voters. Cameron resigned from the government the following day.
Breakdown: A slight majority of voters in England (53.4%) and Wales (52.5%) supported Brexit, especially in rural areas and towns.
London, Scotland and Northern Ireland tended to vote remain.
Brexit supporters in London: 40.1%; Scotland: 38.0%; in Northern Ireland: 44.2%.
Young people tended to vote remain, older voters supported leave. There was a migration problem in Europe at the time of the vote.
Boris Johnson won the election in December 2019. Legislation was passed in January, 2020 which confirmed Britain’s departure from the EU. Teresa May had tried to do this but failed.
Talks began between the UK and the EU on June 19, 2017. It was problematic. Partly because Britain has an unwritten constitution and also because no country had ever left the EU before.
2020 has been a transition year to decide on how Brexit will work in practice.
What does it mean?
As a result of Brexit, many major businesses have already left the UK.
It might lead to the end of Scotland forming part of the UK. i.e. independence. The same may be true for Northern Ireland a little later.
Brexit means the end to free movement between the EU and the UK.
The UK government will protect EU citizens who arrived in the UK BEFORE December 31st, 2020. You can apply for new residence status under UK immigration law. If your application is successful, you get ‘settled’ (more than 5 years) or ‘pre-settled’ status (under 5 years). Deadline to apply is 30 June 2021. If you don’t have this status in the UK, it doesn’t look good for you! No EU ID cards will be accepted at borders. No NHS care as before.
(Source: Embajada de España en Reino Unido)
There are about 3 million non-British EU nationals living in the UK, and about 1.2 million Brits living in other EU countries.
There’s only one country in the entire EU where more British people live than the number of that country’s citizens living in the UK – that’s Spain!
i.e. There are more Brits living in Spain than Spaniards in the UK, but more Germans in the UK than Brits in Germany, more French in the UK than Brits in France, more Poles in the UK than Brits in Poland, more Irish in the UK than Brits in Ireland, more Swedes in the UK than Brits in Sweden, etc…
But, to reiterate: more Brits living in Spain than Spaniards in the UK. Only Spain, no other EU country!
What’s the Irish backstop?
Two possible definitions of backstop: an emergency plan of action or last resort; a thing positioned at the rear of something as a safeguard or barrier.
After the Brexit vote, the EU originally proposed that Northern Ireland somehow remain within the EU borderless free trade area, while the rest of the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – to use the full name of the country).
Ironically and perhaps surprisingly, although the majority of voters in Northern Ireland voted against Brexit, even though the biggest political party there (DUP) campaigned for Brexit, that pro-British (Unionist) DUP party refused to accept any deal that differentiated Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative party need the few votes of backing from the DUP to keep them in power in Westminster as they have a slim majority in the Parliament.
Without a backstop, the island of Ireland will post-Brexit effectively have an EU trade zone (The Republic of Ireland) and a non-EU trade zone (Northern Ireland). This might be incredibly difficult, not to say virtually impossible, to control. Not to mention the immense annoyance of the Irish government in Dublin!
Why is fishing so important?
Fishing rights have been a sticking point in Brexit negotiations since the start. At the time of recording this, foreign companies own the rights to catch more than 130,000 tonnes of fish every year that are part of England’s fishing quota.
This means that more than 179 million euros worth of English fish is in the hands of fishing companies based in Iceland, Spain and Holland. That’s around 55 percent of the total annual value in 2019.
The UK wants to ‘take back control’ of their fishing zones (200 nautical miles – 370 km – beyond their territorial waters) and the EU doesn’t agree.
What are the consequences of Brexit for Reza and Craig and how are they preparing for it?
Changing residence status in Spain-
Reza’s true anecdote. The very day (27 Nov) I prepared notes for this podcast, I rang the relevant office, as instructed, about collecting my new TIE (non-EU residence) card about 12 times. Nobody answered the phone, though it was engaged some of the times I called! We need the card for 1 January!
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English.
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On next week’s episode: Words with a -tion and -sion ending
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash