Ex pat views of Britain leaving EU

Yes, 2017, or later given the way parliament works, so do not be surprised if Cameron squeaks back in in two years time, that this is put on hold until just before the 2020 election, so late 2019 to early 2020. That way he could buy time and things could change a lot. I suspect that if that happened he would be damned for not going straight in before the 2015 election because the Eurozone might have recovered and gone to roaring success with new members, more fiscal union and common tax policies and so on that will make that part of the EU a seriously powerful world player and even a few resisters like Norway going for membership (again in their case) leaving England and Wales rather high and dry. I suspect Scotland may not get its referendum majority unless Westminster really do their worst until the vote next year, but that autonomy will be greater than now on the road to leaving the union and the relationship with the EU closer than south of the border. Yes, I know it is speculation but I am simply looking at the clues that lay strewn around the political world and by the end of this decade most of the older Europhobes will be gone in one sense or another and Farage will have become a fixture on Have I got New for You as a political figure of derision.

It was a good question, but in all honesty he has kicked this issue into the long grass until 2017. There is no need to worry about it until after the next election, and then we will have a clearer picture. I would say today there are a majority in the house who are against this idea, and would fight it. That is important.

I'm also not so worried about things like health care etc. There is no way the UK will suddenly want millions of expats returning because of things like this, it would cripple the UK, so agreements will be struck for those of us who have moved, but it may well be far more difficult after the break, if it were to ever happen. It what politicians do best , make deals.

Cameron has created a mess that didn't need making, and if I didn't think he was a political light weight before this, I certainly do now.

One other point worth making , every expat needs to make sure they are registered to vote, as if you feel strongly about it, then the next election will be the time to have your say. Just vote for a pro-European party, and this problem simply goes away.

Major "British " firms Jaguar Land Rover, JCB etc are already repositioning to take account of UK leaving th EU. Others such as BMW and EADS will do so soon. Do you really want to be an insignificant offshore archipelago or worse given that an independent Scotland with its remaining oil reserves would be fast forwarded into EU membership. It's time the UK "leadership" led rather than be led by the likes of Farage and Cash. Given our failure to wholeheartedly join the Eurpean Coal and Steel Community in the 1950's it's a wonder the EU puts up with us at all. It won't be a matter of the UK leaving the EU rather the EU leaving the UK. Still I suppose we could all become the 2020 equivalent of the displaced persons at the end of the last European Civil War. I hope you all enjoy life in a Nissen hut.

The majority of UK residents , it seems, want Britain to get out of the EU. Cameron threatens to give them a referendum after the next election, so he may well renage on that if he is re-elected as is often the case with pre-election promises. If he were serious about it he would offer the referendum before the election, no ? For me it is a question of timing and serendipity. I live in France and need to be a national of a EU country. So hopefully Salmond will take Scotland independent and I will be resident there when it becomes independent, thus taking on Scotish citizenship after which I will come back home to France with my Scottish passport.

Moi aussi!

I really don't understand any of this. I didn't listen to Mr. C's speech mostly because I don't listen to any of the two-faced liars that live the good life at our expense. So its about a referendum to let the people decide if the UK leaves the EU? The referendum will no doubt be delayed until the powers that be feel they have media-brainwashed the public into voting the way they are supposed to. I haven't a clue what the government have to complain about anyway. They have been fence sitting for decades between Europe and the ventriloquists across the Atlantic. If the UK didn't believe in Europe then they shouldn't have joined in the first place. It seems all the UK has gained is a few thousand EU directives that have indirectly driven up prices for almost everything, and created the imfamous "gravy train" that gives dodgy ex MPs somewhere to draw an income with expenses for doing virtually nothing. I''m in France for the long term. I just hope any withdrawal from "europe" won't force me to return to UK to live in a slum, or worse.

cheers Brian,

I actually don't know where that is in France. Will get on google maps

Aveyron/Tarn - OH and kids are aveyronnais but we're just into the northern Tarn now.

Yes Maureen, the eastern Europeans are another question but numerically the large numbers of French, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Italians, etc are greater and share a very similar privileged status to people from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and who are OK in the UK but are often not so lucky in the rest of Europe. No doubt UKIP and their ilk will tell us all of that in the fullness of time but people in places of power know that agricultural and industrial workers are expendable but not those who are wealth generators.

Hello Brian. That may well be true in an office block in Central London but is not the case in rural Dorset, where I am living, where the only immigrant European workers I have seen are manual workers in factories, where the only skills they have were learnt in their current workplace. And unfortunately if there were to be hoards of elderly returning to the UK, some might be forced to return to the workplace if they do not get a good return on the sale of their French homes.

Hello Ben. We own a house in Sarthe, near to Le Mans but we are from North Dorset.

Neither Maureen, the vast majority are skilled professionals who have been attracted to the UK by lower taxes, higher salaries and so on. At the same time, replacing them with hoards of we elderly returnees does not square. UK people returning, yes, but to what?

Thanks for this everyone. Where are you all from in France by the way?

Hello everyone. I don't know very much about what would happen but if as Brian English suggests 'the result would be mass returns to the UK etc' would that mean that all the European migrants would have to leave the UK, or be forced to take British nationality? We are not quite fully living in France, but almost there, so this would be a blow to our plans and is making us reconsider. France is already an expensive country to us so worse case scenario of having to pay 100% for healthcare would put another nail in the coffin.

agree with both of you ;-)

I agree with Brian, I'm sure this is all about killing off the extreme far right wing before the next election, as it cuts UKIP off at the knees. If he were to win the next election - a big if - then this move has in my opinion made the likelihood of Scotland leaving the Union an almost certainty, where it wasn't before. I will also expect the Welsh to demand out as well.

There is a lot of water to flow under the bridge before then, and a lot of politicking to be done. Lets just say there are an awful lot of very powerful influences lined up against this, so it is far from a certainty.

I do however believe that if the general public get a vote, then it is quite possible they might vote to leave , without fully understanding what that will mean to their jobs and livelihoods. The British people have been lied to about Europe for decades by the corrupt members of the UK press - and we all now know how trustworthy they have turned out to be.

In Eton , they still think the UK has an empire, perhaps they need to update their books, as this could well be disastrous for the non-millionaires amongst the population.

I'm a bit like Andrew although my OH is not French but also not UK. If the UK wants out then two possibilities. If Scotland goes alone and I can get nationality with them in the EU OK, otherwise I'll become Swiss like my wife and children. I watched the speech and have read a lot of comments and think it is a) a piece of pre-electioneering to try to get a majority next time round, which if the rest of his government's good works continue is highly unlikely, and b) I bluff to get attention in the EU which he appears to be failing to do on today's reactions. I am an experienced enough economist to be able to work on those pros and cons and see that finance and big business will not like out and given the USA's view and China's today, even less so than before. In short, a bad poker hand that he thinks he can win but showed his aces before beginning his bluff and has no ability to bluff to begin with.

Don't think my view is representative as I'm by no way a typical expat (infact I'm an imtegrated immigrant here where I only ever speak French at work and with my OH and most of the time with my kids too as they don't speak English) but I couldn't really care less as long as it doesn't affect my ability to live here with my French OH and kids. If it does, then I'll fill in the naturalisation forms, that are here waiting to be filled in, long before any eventual change knowing that the process takes a couple of years to complete!