Boris Johnson 'needs to step up for British expats' says expert
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Relocating to another country has been made more difficult with Brexit, something one Briton is trying to navigate by applying for “dual nationality between the UK and Germany”. Aiming to “protect my British identity but also protect my rights as a European citizen”, Paul has no plans to return to the UK.
British expat Paul moved to Germany because of his “now wife”.
He said: “Essentially my (now) wife is to blame.
“We met in the UK where she was working for a large international company, soon after she was relocated to Amsterdam, whereupon I believed the relationship would be over.
“The trouble was, I liked her so I ditched my entire life in the UK, leaving with only clothes and renting out my flat for a new adventure in Amsterdam.”
“Highly recommending” moving, Paul then followed his wife to Germany.
He explained: “The same company saw us move to Germany where the lack of native language skill was far more of an issue than in the Netherlands.”
With no real German language skills, Paul said life wasn’t that easy.
He said: “The move to Germany was the toughest because the area where we lived in Frankfurt was quite out the way, so I felt quite isolated.
“I learned a month of German when I first arrived and because my work was in English, my social circle also, it made it difficult to learn the language.
“Three years in and I am still not a good German speaker.
“Coming to Germany was fairly simple but I owe this largely to my German native wife, without her, I think the transition would have been a failure for me, honestly, she is the only reason I made it here.
“Whilst the German Government offer a lot of help with finding work and insurances etc. it is nearly all in German, so without the language, you stand little chance of integration.”
Paul was still a fan of Germany, and said the country had a lot to offer to Britons.
He went on: “My family have all had the opportunity to visit me in Germany and see how beautiful it is.
“Germany gets a bad rap in England, but it is a beautiful country filled with things to do and the people are marvellous for the most part.”
Paul thought it was impossible “to get bored in Germany” and advised to “do what the Germans do, go to football matches, drink beer, walk in the mountains go to the sauna complexes and Schwimbadds”.
Living in Germany was “comparable in pricing” to the UK for food, “but clothing appears to be a lot more expensive”.
Paul continued: “Beer and wine are much cheaper though with a good bottle of wine setting you back no more than five euros.
“Rents are cheaper here unless you live in a city centre, but health insurance is a lot more expensive than the UK, there is no NHS type system here, you need to have your own health insurance. Taxes are significantly higher.”
Paul said: “There are not many negatives to living in Germany, but costs of healthcare, insurance and taxes are a few.”
The Briton had no plans to return home, “but if I did it will be strange”.
Being an expat changed him, he said, and he felt he had “grown so much as a person and have a new European outlook on life”.
Paul said: “Leaving the UK gave me the opportunity to do things I never would have done back home.”
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