Poland (by Joanna RB)
Stevie Nicks teaching the Haim sisters how to journal.
Sisters of the Moon: Stevie Nicks and Haim | Sheila Heti
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Apollo e Daphne
from Ovid’s Metamorphoses
marble, 1622-25, Galleria Borghese, Roma
Sure, let’s close the UK borders and bring back passport controls, let’s isolate the UK. But that should also apply to UK citizens in Europe. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, so sorry Pam and Joe from Sussex who wanted to buy a house in Burgundy and voted UKIP.
Let’s create passport controls in EU airports and ports: EU citizens, this way. Non-EU and Brits, this other way. Queue for 45 minutes, answer invasive questions. Apply for a three month tourist visa. Visa on arrival? Nah. You’re gonna have to send your passport down to the Spanish embassy in London and pay £150 four weeks in advance next time you and your lads want to go to Magalluf for a piss up, and if the passport officials deem your application in any way unacceptable, you’ll lose your fee and will have to start again. Suck it up buttercup, you voted for this. Once you’re in Spain, you’ll have to have your visa stamped. For three months. Then you’ll have to leave. Back to the UK, of course, because France won’t accept you without a French visa. Bye to spontaneous weekend breaks, but hey, who wants to see Rome anyway?
If you want to live in that horrible mock-Spanish style villa you bought in Alicante, you’ll have to hire a lawyer, pay exorbitant fees and find a job, because residence permits to non-EU aren’t usually given without proof of employment. It takes its time so you better prepare yourself. You want to spend your retirement in Spain? Tough luck, we don’t give residence permits to people who can’t prove they have at least the means to sustain themselves, so you better prepare to have a certain amount of money for every year you want to live in our country. Ah, and if you have a health emergency you better have your money ready because non-EU non-residents don’t have access to universal healthcare.
You want to work in your field? Sorry, so sorry, non-EU degrees aren’t recognised. You’re gonna have to hire a sworn legal translator (min. €50 fee + roughly 7 cts/word + legal sworn stamp at least €100), and submit two original sworn copies to the Ministry of Education in Madrid. Maybe they’ll accept it, maybe they won’t, like my Argentinian neighbour who’s a nuclear engineer and works in a supermarket, or like my lecturer at university, whose American PhD was NEVER recognised by the Spanish authorities. She lost her job, eventually. The recognising process takes at least a year.
You found a job and you want your partner to join you? Great, apply for a family visa. Maybe you’ll get it, maybe not. In any case, get prepared for lawyer fees.
So yeah sure let’s do this. There’s more British people living abroad (13 million give or take) than foreign-born people in the UK (6 million), so I can’t wait to see all the deported Brits being received with arms open, it’ll be a warm family reunion when the expats face the people who voted a decision that effectively had them lose their jobs. Then you can all close the borders lock stock and barrel and throw the key into the English Channel.