This podcast was released during a period of uncertainty for all EU citizens, expats, foreigners, immigrants, call us as you wish, in Great Britain. During the writing, recording and editing, things changed so fast that information was not up to date anymore. The migrants coming to Britain from the EU after Jan 2021 will be subjected to a strict point system, similar to then one that already applies to non-EU countries. According to this, at the time of my arrival I would had 10 points for English (if we ignore any deduction because of my accent), 0 points for a job offer, max 10 points for my entry-level salary, maybe 20 for jobs in a shortage occupation. 40 in total, way below the minimum 70. I’m done. I’m out.
Dear Home Office, I beg to disagree. An expat has to adapt to a different society, and that makes us flexible enough to be a valuable resource, not a burden. We literally put ourselves in your shoes-not least because we haven’t walked a mile to get here, but at least hundreds or thousands of miles, and our shoes are now worn out.
Ok Home office, I think I should get, mh, 5 extra points for supporting my local library, and another 5 for supporting local businesses. 10 for looking after people, be it my neighbour, my colleagues or my church congregation. 10 for learning British Sign Language, and 10 for volunteering and taking part in community projects. 10 for supporting the arts by visiting your museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls. 20 for falling in love with my English partner-and by extension, his family, friends and country. There, Home Office. I’ve fixed that for you.
If anything, the small mindedness of settled status made me think that British people and EU citizens in Britain are on the same boat and some of us row in the same directions.
While working on this podcast I realised I was basically writing a love letter to Britain, not necessarily always bright and sweet, but sincere and heartfelt. So, as a final goodbye, here’s all the times the word “love” has appeared on this podcast.