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Old 30.12.2017, 20:55
Posts: n/a
Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

You've been here as long as me DB, oder? You can surely get a Swiss passport as of January? The other things are just personal perspective in my opinion.

Are people from <insert country x> who make a life in the UK less British than you or I? I don't think so. Certainly, their kids are as British as you or me. I prefer living here to in Britain (as do you) - surely that makes us less British than people who actually want to live there? I would certainly always view myself as a European having lived most of my adult life on the continent. How others view me is their issue I guess.
First of all, my rant was specifically directed at Odile who has spent most of the last two years asserting that she has more investment in Britain than many of us who were born and brought up there, and have longstanding links to the country. I have been finding her snide comments deeply offensive, and this evening I finally snapped. Who the bloody hell does this Swiss woman think she is?

Regarding the principle in general, though, it depends. Does [person from country x] maintain a little bijou bolt-hole in another country? Does [person from country x] continually boast about his heritage and contacts in [country x] and [everywhere else he can think of]? Most importantly: does [person x] hold another passport, affording him the ability to scarper when the going gets tough? In general, I'd say that if these conditions are met, then [person from country x] is less British than those of us who were born and brought up there and have longstanding links to the country.

My mate Y, on the other hand, arrived in England with a British passport when he was seven years old, was educated in England, worked his entire life in England, maintains no significant links with any other country, and certainly doesn't hold property overseas or possess a foreign passport. I'd say he is invested in the status and future of Britain, for sure. Where else is he going to go? Funnily enough, he always denies being British, asserting that he's African at every opportunity, but there you go: these things are profoundly personal.

You see, my argument isn't really one of pure nativism. I acknowledge that there are degrees of 'belonging'. But a very important factor - in the context of my quarrel with Odile - is that the person with no other nationality, the person without a little place to which they can retire whenever they fancy it - certainly does have more right to claim investment in the status and future of a country than some random globetrotter with family contacts all around the world.

Regarding my Swissness, should I ever be lucky enough to get a Swiss passport: no, I won't ever be Swiss according to my principles, simply because I am unwilling to give up my British nationality. Should any Eidgenossen-type tell me that I'm not really Swiss, I'll nod my head and agree with him - then go and indulge my legal right to vote and whatever else, just like naturalised British citizens can do. Is there anything wrong with that? Most people would just call it common sense.
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