‘I've been in Edinburgh Airport, wondering whether I should get a one-way ticket’

Nikolaj Gadegaard, 45, professor

“I must admit I have been in Edinburgh airport and wondering whether I should get a one-way ticket. Should I seek pastures new back in Denmark again and admit that I wasn’t really supposed to be in the UK?

“I came to Scotland because I was received with warmth and open arms and I have been here for more than 16 years. I want to stay in Glasgow, but there are dark shadows and uncertainties over the future...

“Bought a house the week before Brexit. No one thought that it was going to go this way. It didn't even cross my mind that it was going to happen. Suddenly, a week later, I don't know if I have a job here, I don't know if I can stay here, I don't know if I want to be here because you don't want to stay somewhere where they don't like you."

‘I will have to consider if it’s still the country I want to live in’


Bernhard Blumenaum, lecturer

“Personally, I think the miniscule majority for Leave has much to do with domestic problems in the UK – e.g. mistrust of the political elite, the decline of the welfare state, or a sense of a lack of identity – and the EU referendum was just a convenient way to express this frustration.

“Brexit will not lead to a return to the ‘good old days’ when Britain ruled the waves; instead it will lead to a further decline of British influence and prosperity. It is sad that populism was allowed to have such a huge impact on British politics and society.

“I consider Scotland to be my home and for the moment, I’m waiting to see if perhaps Brexit can yet be undone. However, if it does go ahead, I will have to consider if it’s still the country I want to live in.”

'I don't think anyone is going to show up from the Home Office and try to deport me... but I don't trust this government'


Antje Karl, 43, knitting cafe owner

"I've actually been here for both referendems. What's really angered me and made me feel really powerless is that I was here for the independence referendum and I had a vote, but I didn't have a vote in the Brexit referendum, even though you could argue that I would be one of the people who is likely to be the most impacted by it. That was one of the things that was such a punch to the gut. We had this independence referendum where everyone had a vote and everyone was part of the process, and then it's the complete opposite for Brexit. At the time, nobody really expected it to go that way. My little boy was just a few months old, and I remember waking up and looking at him, and thinking, what have I done? I started a family and I thought I knew what our future held and what our path was, and then the rug got pulled out from under our collective feet, and we still don't know what's going on.

"Realistically, I don't think anyone is going to show up from the Home Office and try to deport me, but I don't trust this government. If you look at the news you've got another Windrush citizen that they're trying to deport. What's to say that thirty years down the line they've lost our paperwork and try to do the same thing. Especially with the settled status, we don't get a bit of paper - it's all digital and it's on their servers. So if there's some issue down the line, I will have no way of proving that I have settled status. I don't have a letter that says, 'congratulations'. I'm not in a particularly straightforward employment situation because I run my own business. I have some P60s going back, but I moved a few years ago so I don't have all my paperwork. If I want to prove my lease for the last five years, I can't actually do that because the letting agents that had my last lease have closed down in the meantime. Because it's all digital, it feels really ephemeral and it could all just disappear if I blink."

'Brexit is the epiphany of xenophobia at the moment'


Birte Riter Millard, 36, marketing specialist, lived in UK for 18 years

"Having worked and studied here and paid taxes and contributed to the British economy, it was disappointing to not be able to vote. In the grand scheme of Brexit now happening, us Europeans having to apply to settlementship and all sorts of other forms when we didn't have a vote, it kind of is frustrated. Another dimension of it is that being in Scotland, the majority voted to stay, so there is the failure of representation. The representation of a democratic vote should include all of a country's residents. So it's difficult to see where the inclusions and exclusions have to be made.

"I think one thing that my mother in law and her boyfriend, they voted to leave and in their mind it was to stop immigration. But for me, Brexit is the epiphany of xenophobia at the moment, because it's segregating which people you want to come to Britain and which ones you don't. It affects all Europeans - kids in foster care, kids that have come here that have no parents, the elderly, forced marriages. They all have to deal with settlement applications, and they're the ones who will lose out, it won't be the lawyers and doctors coming from France and Germany and Spain. We all have to swallow the spoon with a bit of sugar, because what's coming is not going to be pleasant. Coming from Germany and having a history of segregation and racism."

'I do feel like I'm being held ransom ... I can't make plans for my life'


Patricia Cuni, 37, digital marketing, lived in UK for five years

"I am not happy about Brexit. It causes me a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, and I do feel like I'm being held ransom. They still don't know what's going to happen, and I can't make plans for my life. It feels like someone could knock on my door and deport us back to Spain. I think they don't have a plan - they started working on it two months ago and everything has been very rushed. They didn't know what the seriousness was of what they were embarking on, and they have been treating Europeans living in the UK as bargaining chips doesn't really help.

"It feels like a rejection of me by the government and by people in general. European people like being here and paying taxes and integrating and all of a sudden we become second class citizens and leeches who are taking advantage of the system, which we are not, and foreigners who are not welcome. One of the things that I hate very much is my friends saying 'oh this is not about you'. And they say this because I have a good job, I have a good life and I speak a very decent level of English, and am very involved in the community. But they forget that I am part of a bigger collective, and we are not what the media told them we are. I think there has been a lot of misinformation and a lot of lies, and blaming European citizens. The Tory government has used Europeans as the scapegoat for decades of austerity policies that have had a very big impact on lower class people, instead of facing what they have done to this country."

'I have stocked up - I have a stockpile of non-perishable foods'


Lindis Kipp, 30, teacher, lived in UK for 13 years

"It's certainly a lot worse in England, but I have encountered Leave voters here at my workplace. It makes me angry and it makes me feel unwelcome. Particularly when they try and justify it to you. I'd rather they just own up and say sorry, I wish that you would just go, and be honest. Although I don't think they necessarily think that, and they don't know what they want.

"I have actually stopped listening to the news more than once a day, because I can't bear it. Every time you think it can't get worse or more ridiculous it does, and I just don't have the mental capacity to keep up with the number of terrible things that happen every single day.

"I have stocked up - I have a stockpile of non-perishable foods, nappies, cat litter. Tins of beans, fruit and pasta. Not because I think we will run out of food so badly that people are going to starve, but Scotland being at the very end of the supply line in Britain, supermarkets started running out of food last summer when it snowed. So if there are massive delays down south, things are not going to get to us that quickly. I'm trying to avoid going to the supermarket in the first couple of weeks after a no-deal Brexit when it gets really panicky and people start being horrible to each other."

'With Scotland not having their independence, you always have to rely on what England decides down there when it comes to immigration. You feel very vulnerable and at risk.'


Elizabeth Bea, 49, teacher, lived in UK for 16 years

"I don't have settlement here, because when my husband and my son did settlement, because I was European, the lawyer didn't put me down because it wasn't required. So my son is entitled to stay here, but not me. Under these conditions, I would have to apply. So that makes me very nervous, because I know how the Home Office can be quite erratic, and their behaviour can be quite strange.

"I hopefully should be okay, but I have seen people in different situations because I work in the languages department, and I have seen people who have been granted a visa for five years, apply for indefinite leave to remain and then have it refused. Anything can happen, and you always feel that although it appears to be easy enough, it makes you nervous. If I applied for it and was rejected, I would lose my job. I've got a mortgage, I've got a child, and I've been with my employer for 14 years. Imagine if the Home Office does one of their weird things that they tend to do to people, and then I lose my job. Although it might not happen, you always have that at the back of your head and you're always worried about things like this, because the decisions are made in England, not in Scotland. With Scotland not having their independence, you always have to rely on what England decides down there when it comes to immigration. You feel very vulnerable and at risk."

Everyone who lives in the UK now won't have the chance to experience what I have done in my life


Fran Crueller, 43, primary school teacher, lived in UK for 14 years

"Everyone who lives in the UK now won't have the chance to experience what I have done in my life. To have the chance to live in a different country, learning about different culture, meeting different people and learning a language. I am a school teacher, so I see that my children will be okay because they have dual nationalities and they will be able to move freely between Europe and here, but I see the children in the school and a lot of them will not have the chance as it seems right now. And I think that's a great expereince in anyone's life, to travel and meet new people.

"I will have to think about my future here. I'm still waiting to see what the outcome of it is, to see the consequences. At some point, I suppose I will go back to Spain. I'm wanting to know what is going to happen so I can have a clearer idea of what to do next."

'I naively thought Brexit would not have a hope in hell'


Trisha Hall, 65, social worker, lived in UK for 26 years

"Brexit when it was first muted seemed a strange concept that I naively thought would not have a hope in hell. To say I was taken aback at the result is an understatement. Like many, I went through the various stages of what feels like a grieving process: disbelief, denial, anger; although I haven’t really reached acceptance. There have been lighter moments when others told me “Nicola says you can stay!” after a statement from our FM; and I must admit that I have personally not met any negative reactions from any people in my work or personal life.

"My mother was English and married a Dutchman, I thought I had reset the balance. It now feels very uncomfortable and unsettling to be subject to what feels like an imposition after working in the UK for over 31 years; justifying why one should be allowed to remain. This is my home, it is where my children are, my friends, my networks. I work within a profession which recognises human rights as the foundation of all our activity, and my experience of Scotland has been of a nation where many people are committed to recognise this.

"The outlook for Europeans in Scotland will hopefully reflect the outcome of the Scottish vote on Brexit, we really need migration to ensure a stable future. I know the positive impact EEA workers make on our social work and social care services so I hope there will be cross party support in the Scottish Parliament to enable a positive long-term way forward so we can stay part of this great country."

Brexit voices


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Are you an EU citizen from outwith the UK living in Scotland who supports Brexit? Let us know. Email tony.diver@newsquest.co.uk