Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #06 – Martin Kirby

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum when I also did a reportage of UK expats opinions who live in Catalonia and couldn’t vote, ( because they have lived away for more than 15 years) regarding their future status as European citizens. Once more they couldn’t vote in the UK election which will take place on Thursday 8, so, once again, I asked the same people what they thought.

1. How have your feelings towards Brexit evolved since a year ago?

Am increasingly anxious and angry. It is a woeful, stupid act of self-harm.

2. What are your predictions for the future of the U.K.?

​So much hangs in the balance with this election, not least the health of a nation, a society. The shambolic, arrogant Tories must go, and if they don’t I will be deeply depressed.​

3. How do you feel that you cannot vote in the election because you have lived away from the U.K. for more than 15 years?

​Impotent, frustrated and appalled. It is such a critical moment.
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Martin Kirby writer and farmer on his farm in Marçà 06 2017 ©RK
Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #06 – Martin Kirby

Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #05 – Brian Cutts

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum when I also did a reportage of UK expats opinions who live in Catalonia and couldn’t vote, ( because they have lived away for more than 15 years) regarding their future status as European citizens. Once more they couldn’t vote in the UK election which will take place on Thursday 8, so, once again, I asked the same people what they thought.

1. How have your feelings towards Brexit evolved since a year ago?

I am more convinced than ever that it was a mistake, a decision based on years of political and mediatic manipulations and half-truths. Hopefully, another referendum will be held regarding the so-called ‘deal’ UK politicians are negotiating.

2. What are your predictions for the future of the U.K.?

Unless politicians look at the bigger picture rather than their own 5-year needs to be elected, the cycle of racism and cheap populism is here to stay.

3. How do you feel that you cannot vote in the election because you have lived away from the U.K. for more than 15 years?

It doesn’t worry me. If I don’t live there, and have no intention of going back, I don’t really see why I should vote there. It’s much more annoying that I can’t vote in Spanish or Catalan elections, which do have a direct effect on my life.

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Brian Cutts English teacher and activist in Tortosa’s anti-fascist monument movement at the River Ebre, Tortosa 06 2017 ©RK
Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #05 – Brian Cutts

Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #04 – Berni Armstrong

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum when I also did a reportage of UK expats opinions who live in Catalonia and couldn’t vote, ( because they have lived away for more than 15 years) regarding their future status as European citizens. Once more they couldn’t vote in the UK election which will take place on Thursday 8, so, once again, I asked the same people what they thought.

1. How have your feelings towards Brexit evolved since a year ago?

They haven’t really changed. I think the triumph of the Brexit camp represented the worst aspects of the British character – insular, Little Englanders, chauvinistic, distrustful of Johnny Foreigner, anti- progressive, anti-internationalist.

2. What are your predictions for the future of the U.K.?

I am increasingly convinced that Brexit will be a disaster for Britain. The only positives that might come from it may be a united Ireland and an independent Scotland. I am also convinced that if the referendum were rerun tomorrow, the result would still be tight, but would now be marginally in favour of remain.

3. How do you feel that you cannot vote in the election because you have lived away from the U.K. for more than 15 years?

I still feel quite bitter that I am neither allowed to vote in what was my home country (what other nation has such a prohibition?) nor am I allowed to vote in the country into whose tax coffers I have contributed for 30 years.

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Berni Armstrong lecturer in translation department of the UAB and singer/songwriter at home in Vilanova i Geltru 06 2017 ©RK
Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #04 – Berni Armstrong

Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #03 – Simon Harris

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum when I also did a reportage of UK expats opinions who live in Catalonia and couldn’t vote, ( because they have lived away for more than 15 years) regarding their future status as European citizens. Once more they couldn’t vote in the UK election which will take place on Thursday 8, so, once again, I asked the same people what they thought.

1. How have your feelings towards Brexit evolved since a year ago?

Having looked into how corrupt and impossible to reform the EU is, I’m much more in favour of Brexit than I was a year ago.

2. What are your predictions for the future of the U.K.?

I don’t think either Labour or the Tories are to be fully trusted on Brexit so we’ll just have to keep the pressure on. I doubt whether the EU will exist in a decade so it’s obviously in the UK’s advantage to get out ASAP.

3. How do you feel that you cannot vote in the election because you have lived away from the U.K. for more than 15 years?

Very frustrating. I’m not a Spanish citizen either so I’m completely disenfranchised. 

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Simon Harris writer & youtuber in Barcelona’s Eixample district 06 2017 ©RK
Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #03 – Simon Harris

Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #02 – Matthew Tree

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum when I also did a reportage of UK expats opinions who live in Catalonia and couldn’t vote, ( because they have lived away for more than 15 years) regarding their future status as European citizens. Once more they couldn’t vote in the UK election which will take place on Thursday 8, so, once again, I asked the same people what they thought.

1. How have your feelings towards Brexit evolved since a year ago?

My gut feeling about Brexit is that it’s now proven beyond any possible doubt to be the stupidest decision ever made since full democracy came to the UK (1917): a result based on false information, tampering with social media data and outright xenophobia.

2. What are your predictions for the future of the U.K.?

After Brexit, I hope and pray the UK breaks into at least three separate pieces, two of them remaining within the EU. That aside, my only concern is what happens to the EU members there and the UK passport holders in Europe.

3. How do you feel that you cannot vote in the election because you have lived away from the U.K. for more than 15 years?

Impotent. And angry, because as the Brexit referendum had no constitutional precedent, they could have changed the rules to allow people directly affected by the referendum – such as British residents in the EU – to vote. (After all, they did this for the Scottish referendum, in which non-British EU residents of Scotland were given the vote). But no.

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Matthew Tree writer at the National Theatre, Barcelona, 06 2017 ©RK
Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #02 – Matthew Tree

Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #01 – Brian McClean

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum when I also did a reportage of UK expats opinions who live in Catalonia and couldn’t vote, ( because they have lived away for more than 15 years) regarding their future status as European citizens. Once more they couldn’t vote in the UK election which will take place on Thursday 8, so, once again, I asked the same people what they thought.

1. How have your feelings towards Brexit evolved since a year ago?

Whilst not being a non-critical fan of the EU, I have always felt that having a parachute before jumping out of a plane tends to prevent nasty messes on landing. Scrapping a deal, however improvable it may be, without any credible strategy to replace it is sheer madness. The Tories have shown that they are up a very messy creek without even their hands to paddle. Assuming they win the forthcoming election and, despite remarkable ground being made up by a not very attractive opposition leader, they appear to be about to pull it off. The British people are going to be well and truly shafted with a very rough pole and no Vaseline in sight. How have my feelings evolved? The Brexit situation is a FAR larger disaster that even the most pessimistic foresaw.

2. What are your predictions for the future of the U.K.?

Assuming a Tory win, which currently seems the best bet on the books, public services are going to worsen considerably, the NHS and Social Welfare are going to accelerate their already rapid decline, education in any real sense is going to return to being a preserve of the rich; the lower orders of society will be trained (I mean instilled with just enough skill to keep the machines running) and not educated in any real sense of the word. The Arts and Literature are already in an advanced state of decline and look destined for the chopping block as “useless” and unproductive. Philosophy and thinking for oneself, what dat? However, and in common with other countries, politics and the media have so degraded public debate and knowledge that we are, I feel, heading towards a very corrupt and debased society in which values are something to put a £ sign in front of. And so on in the same vein for hours. I am not hopeful.

3. How do you feel that you cannot vote in the election because you have lived away from the U.K. for more than 15 years?

Perhaps rather relieved personally. I left the UK before reaching voting age and have, thus, never voted there. I do believe, however, that those interested in voting should be allowed to do so, as many British migrants still have at least an economic interest in the running of the country.

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Brian McClean retired & member of ANC in the gardens of Barcelona University, 06 2017 ©RK
Expats in Catalonia Pre-Uk-election Opinions #01 – Brian McClean