A Brexit could have a very real impact on British people who live and work in Brussels.
CCTV’s Kate Parkinson met one Brit who is thinking about becoming Belgian. Follow Kate Parkinson on Twitter @katecctvnews
Brexit puts future of Britons in Brussels in jeopardyA Brexit could have a very real impact on British people who live and work in Brussels. CCTV’s Kate Parkinson met one Brit who is thinking about becoming Belgian.
Around 30,000 Brits live in Belgium. Edward Bray, a freelance journalist who has been living there for about 7 years, is anxiously watching what’s happening at home.
“I have made my life here in Belgium and my partner is half Italian, half Greek, and so I see my future really as a citizen of the European Union. So if the U.K. were to leave, I don’t know what that would mean in terms of my rights to work, for example, but also personal right, family rights and so on,” Bray said. “So I’m definitely asking a lot of questions about what that would mean for me, my family and for children in the future as well.”
If the U.K. votes to leave the EU, Bray said he may become a Belgian citizen — a decision he’s not taking lightly.
“For me it’s quite sad in a way because I feel quite strongly that I am British and I never thought it would come to that,” Bray said. “For practical reasons, but also for some personal reasons, I’ve felt strongly committed to the European Union, it’s values, freedom to work in other places, freedom to travel, movement of goods and services. I feel quite strongly that these are freedoms that I subscribe to. And I wouldn’t really like to leave the European Union as a citizen, myself, so if that meant becoming a Belgian citizen then yes I think it’s something I’d think strong and hard about. It’s likely that I would also sign up to the list and become a Belgian citizen.”
The list to become a Belgian citizen may be getting longer in the coming days. In the Brussels British expat bubble, there is a lot of chatter about what to do if a Brexit happens.
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