Freedom of Movement: What should I do?

I have written to my MP in the UK:  Robert Buckland MP, asking him for his advice on my situation in light of his government’s Brexit Deal.

Dear Mr. Buckland

I moved from Swindon to Toledo in 2005. I am a UK citizen. I vote as an Overseas Elector in Swindon South and will do again in any UK National Election or Referendum for as long as I am able. 

Your government’s decision to prioritise the removal of our Freedom of Movement threatens my ability to work and provide for my family.

Since moving to Spain I have worked in corporate IT jobs that require me to travel and work across the the EU, often travelling at short notice and without delays, visas or work permits to offices and customers across the EU. 

When I lose my Freedom of Movement as a result of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by your government, it is probable that I will no longer be eligible for my job at my current employer or any similar role in Spain (there is no department or process for managing visas or sponsoring work permits. It would be an unecessary overhead they are not interested in bearing).

What should I do?

The options I see open to me are:

  1. Accept the reduced Spain-centric role that may be offered to me: 40% reduction in salary. I would need to sell my house and limit the plans for my daughter’s university education to the local university, rather than doing the course she wants to follow in Madrid.
  2. Give up IT and start teaching english: 60% reduction in salary. as above but I would work locally.
  3. Apply for Spanish citizenship: I could maintain my life more or less as-is, but I would need to renounce my UK citizenship. Presumably I would then be prevented from returning to the UK for prolonged periods if I needed to care for my parents, as I would need to show an ability to provide for myself in terms of healthcare.
  4. Move back to the UK. We have EU friends living in the UK, who feel the hostility that your government and its cheerleaders in the media are stoking towards them on a daily basis. Not something I can recommend to my wife and children.

Ending Freedom of Movement is an unnecessary misguided, small-minded attack on normal hard-working working people across the UK and Europe. We contribute to our host countries in infinite ways, this is the most hurtful and painful upheaval that a government can impose upon its citizens.

I would be interested to hear what your advice to me would be. Should I renounce my UK Citizenship to maintain my life in the UK?

Is selling my family home and downsizing to account for my diminished status and earning capacity as a UK Citizen in Spain part of your Brexit Dividend?

Will you vote to put your government’s Brexit deal to a People’s Vote so that it can be endorsed as the “Will of the People” against the other options of Leaving with No Deal or Remaining in the EU?

Yours sincerely,

Simon Pike.

Boris and the Unity of Europe

In some kind of Jungian counter-projection spasm, Boris Johnson is using Project Fear to sell his perceived benefits of Brexit on the basis that the EU wants political unity . At some level his government clearly feels threatened by unity, and so prefers the comfortable tantrum of discord, division and divestment.

The founding fathers of the European Union did not create the common market to tear down barriers to trade but to pursue a political project.

As opposed to the disunity that shaped the European experience of the last century?

Of course the European Union is a political project. It is a project to put aside the petty, destructive nationalisms of the 20th Century and build a sense of commonality and community using education, culture and business to bring people together, to pool our resources and to align our interests. To foment peaceful cooperation and neighbourly partnerships rather than competition. The EU’s very founding as the European Coal and Steel Community was an attempt to unify access to the raw materials of war and to nullify any one member’s advantage or ability to wage war on its neighbours. You can’t get more political than that. We tried competitive disunity across Europe for 2,000 years and it led to a constant cycle of conquest and resentment, bloodshed, violence and poverty.

Despite its obvious democratic deficit the European Union is the only body currently capable of standing up for its citizens and defending the integrity of its internal markets in the face of rapacious international capitalism. The EU governs the behaviour of these bullying trans-national behemoths, generally in the interest maintaining of a productive healthy environment in which to do business. The EU has enforced rules and defended its citizens against the overbearing power of Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook and Volkswagen, in ways that British politicians (with the admirable exception of Sadiq Khan’s stand against Uber) have singularly failed to govern. Those who flout the rules of the EUs internal market should rightly lose access to the second largest consumer economy on earth.

The EU is undoubtedly a force for unity in Europe and Boris Johnson and the English nationalists with whom he marches are doing a sterling job of promoting that unity to an extent that no one could have ever imagined.

La pregunta del día

La pregunta del ayer fuesido, “¿Puigdemont ha declarado la independencia o no?”. La respuesta simple y claro es:

No.

No se declaró la Independencia de Cataluña. Si lo hubiera hecho los indepententistas de Cataluña habrian despertados con resaca, un defecit de Cava y un corralito de su sistema financiero.

Pero eso no es la pregunta con que nos deberíamos entretener. Después de la intervencion de Carles Puidgemont ayer, y bajo la sombra del artículo 155, las preguntas pertinentes son:

  1. ¿Ha Cataluña dejado de cumplir con las obligaciones que la Constitucion u otras leyes le impongan? 1
  2. ¿Ha Cataluña actuado de forma que atente gravamente al interes general de España? 1 2

Entiendo que hay quien interprete que las actuaciones del Govern y El Parlament durante las ultimas semanas permitarían una respuesta afirmativa a una, ambas o ninguna de esas preguntas. Pero esas interpretaciones no cambiaron ni con el discurso del President en el Parlament ni con su actuación posterior.

Lo que hizo Carles Puidgemont en su intervención en el Parlament fue aprovechar el despliegue mediatico internacional para reiterar su interpretación de como hemos llegado a ese crisis constitucional y pedir al Gobierno Español tiempo, aire y diálogo.

Luego firmó una carta simbólico para tranquilizar a los radicales de su apoyo domestico y tuiteó en varios idiomas europeos para reforzar su mensaje de diálogo.

Con la petición de clarificación y su amenaza de intervenir en Cataluña,  Mariano Rajoy ha firmado su carta simbólico para tranquilizar a sus radicales en C’s .

Seguimos a la espera de que se convierte en políglota.


  1. El texto del articulo habla de las obligaciones y actuaciones “una Comunidad Autónoma” 2 
  2. Todos los énfasis con mios.