The Ones Who Flee: British Edition

Once again the BBC trawls around for folk quitting a country over the political preferences of its population. Last time it was Americans running from the Trumpocaust, only their examples left much to be desired. This time it’s Europeans fleeing Brexit:

Katarina Karmazinova came to London aged 24 to study European business. Attracted, she says, by the UK’s multiculturalism and openness, the Slovakian native chose the Royal Holloway University for her master’s degree. After graduating, she decided to stay and work – she even bought a flat. But when the UK voted to leave the European Union in June last year, Karmazinova sold her flat, quit her job, and left the country. She has been travelling and writing since.

Hmmm.

“It made me sad that the UK, that advanced life I’ve always praised in Slovakia as an example politically and culturally, had now a crack,” says Karmazinova, who was in the UK for eight years. “Suddenly, half of the country showed a different face to me.”

Just like that, eh? Britain voted to leave and you quit your job and sold your flat in order to travel around and write. I don’t think we’re being told the whole story here. I assume she’s single, or at least childless: decisions like this tend not to be very compatible with a family life or a steady relationship. If I were to be cruel, and I will, I’d say she done quite well professionally earning enough to buy a property in London, but she’s reached middle age and found her life an otherwise complete, empty mess. Selling up to go travelling and writing is not a rational response to Brexit, and has midlife crisis written all over it.

For Karmazinova, it is the spirit of Brexit that is making her want to leave.

Whatever helps you get through the day, I suppose.

Some are simply considering leaving and waiting it out for now. Others have already left, returning home, going somewhere else within the EU, or decamping to a different continent altogether.

Have they? Or were they going anyway, like half of those in your Trump article?

If limits are placed on who can get work, Jeanne Batalova, senior policy analyst with the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC, says people will start to pack up and leave.

But will they pack up and leave before such limits have been imposed, based on pure speculation? Unlikely. Perhaps this is why the BBC went to discuss it with some Americans instead of Brits and Europeans.

After getting over the “shock” of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, 33-year-old Marcin Czyza got the idea for an online recruitment firm to help people.

So Czyza launched ExpatExit.com in November. Registrants can fill out profiles and answer questions about where they would like to relocate. Within a few months, interest in the site took off. There are more than 1,200 registered candidates.

1,200 people registering in a few months? It’s hardly a stampede, is it? And bear in mind that the site itself has no content whatsoever unless you register, except for this garbage:

High costs of living? Far away from family and friends? Unfriendly atmosphere? Does this sound familiar? If the only reason for you to stay in the United Kingdom is your job, we have the perfect solution for you. Just register on our website, create your profile and indicate where you would like to work. It doesn’t matter if it is your home town or an exotic destination where you were always dreaming of living. Our job is to contact all potential employers at the location of your choice. Just give yourself a chance !

Expatexit is a natural response to the recent events which took place in the UK. It is a solution for all people who do not want to be excluded from the European and International Business and who understand that there is no need to wait until the UK begins to suffer from its new policy. We truly believe that everybody has his or her dream destination and we want to help you to get there.

I wonder how many people he’s actually helped move. I wonder why the BBC didn’t ask. Or perhaps they did, and elected to cite the number of people registering instead.

“I served the first candidates with some contacts to recruiters and human resources departments,” says Czyza.

Wow, you can just feel the value being added!

Now, he says, it is hard to keep up with all of the interest in the site, and he has started working with a number of companies in industries like finance and IT that are looking to hire people away from the UK.

How. Many. Have. Actually. Left. Question. Mark.

The UK’s not alone. In the US, interest in leaving the country rose after Donald Trump won the presidency.

Oh yes, we all remember that one.

In both countries, says Batalova, anti-immigration policies could deter immigrants, and lower immigration could have a major effect on certain industries, such as agriculture, hospitality, retail and medicine.

So could higher immigration. Which is part of the problem, of course.

“Yes, these industries will adjust over time. But they will experience a short-term shock,” she says. “You can’t train a doctor, a physicist, a nurse, or an engineer overnight.”

No, which is why we poach them from the third-world in the first place. Again, this is part of the problem.

When Dariusz Truchel emigrated to Britain from Poland in 2005, he did so with the idea that he would find “better job possibilities”. Once settled outside of London, he worked as a project manager and took a number of health and safety courses, eventually setting up his own health and safety consultancy. Truchel even bought a house.

Sounds as though he’s done quite well in Britain.

But after Brexit, Truchel, 34, began feeling pessimistic about the future. He began noticing a new attitude among people who had voted to separate from the EU.

“It is hard to describe this atmosphere because nobody dares to say it to your face, but there is a feeling of being an uninvited guest,” he says.

He knows who voted Leave, but nobody will dare say anything to his face.

He registered on Expat Exit and is now seriously considering leaving the UK.

Despite having bought a house and on the basis of a new attitude which he can’t describe and remains unsaid? He should have given Expat Exit a miss and registered on Tinder where he could meet Katarina Karmazinova: the two sound perfect for one another.

He would like to resettle back in Poland or southern Europe…

Only there’s no work.

…but is also considering Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, since German-speaking countries “attract more business,” he says.

Switzerland isn’t in the EU and he has no right to work there, of course. But apparently they’re crying out for Polish health and safety consultants.

“I expect the British economy to suffer from Brexit and I don’t want to wait for it.”

Says the chap contemplating going to southern Europe.

For Alex, a 32-year-old Romanian who asked that only his first name due to safety concerns, London was “the obvious choice” in 2014. He had completed his MBA in France and was considering opportunities in London, Berlin, Dubai, and Singapore. “When London materialised, I didn’t think twice,” he says. “I loved the city and the working culture, having worked under English managers in the past.”

Uh-huh.

And all seemed to be going well until the Brexit vote. “Before Brexit, I saw myself staying in London long-term,” Alex says. Now, he is looking at alternatives, including Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

You think Britain’s intolerant but you want to go to Dubai or Singapore?

His top concern isn’t what will happen to the UK economy but rather to his family, specifically his young child who will be starting preschool soon. “I don’t want my child to be treated badly, bullied, or discriminated against. With the recent wave of hate towards immigrants, it’s a real possibility,” he says.

Because Eastern Europeans are looked on with such favour in Dubai. Does he realise most people will assume his wife is a hooker?

“Part of the reason for coming to the UK was to give my little one a good start in life, education and culture wise.”

Which Romania was incapable of providing, presumably.

In the ethnically-diverse London neighbourhood in which Alex and his family live, there haven’t been any major problems yet, just some snide comments and a sense of gloating, he says. “It’s off-putting,” Alex says.

As are the continual comments about British people being knuckle-dragging racists.

Karmazinova, the Slovakian who left the UK, has yet to decide where she will settle – but she knows it won’t be back in the UK as long it stays separated from the EU.

Nor her native Slovakia, presumably. Why not?

The most frustrating part of Brexit for her was that she couldn’t do anything other than wait and see which way the vote went since she, like many foreigners, wasn’t eligible to vote in the referendum.

Appallingly, Russians didn’t get a say in the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993 either.

“I’ve spent eight years: studying, working, paying taxes and national insurance, spending money on lattes, theatre tickets and Oyster cards. I bought a flat and sold it, paid stamp duty, then bought another, learned British slang, ate fruit scones, went to council meetings, read theTime Out on the tube and laughed about its insider jokes, watched the news… until it started to feel like I belonged. I became a Londoner,” she says.

Key word: Londoner. Somebody ought to have told her that the rest of Britain is quite different.

“And yet, I could just stand by and watch.”

As things carry on much as before. Oh, the humanity!

Now, she’s watching from overseas.

Twenty quid says she’s back in London within two years.

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25 thoughts on “The Ones Who Flee: British Edition

  1. When people called Joe Smith, Jane Jones and even Mr and Mrs Benedict Cholmondley-Simpering wish to leave, then that is news. Furrin-born people suddenly not wanting to live in London? Fair enough I suppose; I wouldn’t want to either but then I didn’t want to live in The Smoke before the referendum, so not much has changed there.

    But here’s the thing: people registering for a web-site does not mean people actually leaving, especially if it involves no money or credit card details. If they did go, I have one question for them.

    Can I have your shoes when you’re gone, or are you going to need them to buy favours and pay bribes in those other wonderful places you are thinking of heading to?

  2. Well that is one less health & safety consultant. Now if we can just find some way of deporting the British born ones we could probably add 10% to GDP within a year 🙂

  3. These sad-sack stories drive me nuts. If a “journalist” can find one unhappy person due to a new policy, then it is a tragedy and all the others who supported it are meanies.
    Secondly, there is an expectation that the successful countries in the world hold a moral responsibility to host anyone that can manage to get the airfare, get on a boat, climb a wall, etc. to get there. Additionally, these countries must guarantee the success and happiness of the arrivers for the rest of their lives and natives must apologize whenever the arrivers get upset.
    Lastly, the nations emigrated from hold no responsibility for their sorry state and can even resist taking their own citizens back. (see Mexico)
    Thank god for Brexit. We need to break the world of their narcissistic expectations so that they can solve their own problems in their own countries.

  4. My missus is foreign. Obviously so, both in appearance and accent. We live in leafy suburban England.

    “It is hard to describe this atmosphere because nobody dares to say it to your face, but there is a feeling of being an uninvited guest,” he says.

    With the recent wave of hate towards immigrants…

    We’ve experienced none of this. Any “hate” and “snide comments” have been toward Leavers and Brexit.

    Either we’re in some weird bubble of exception, or these people are just imagining shit.

  5. “It is hard to describe this atmosphere…”

    No it isn’t. The words you are looking for are “doesn’t exist”.

  6. ““I’ve spent eight years: studying, working, paying taxes and national insurance, spending money on lattes, theatre tickets and Oyster cards.”

    Yet didn’t manage to fill out the forms to get UK citizenship that would have allowed her to vote on the issue. I wonder why not?

    I spent 8 years in the UK and did not take up citizenship, perhaps foolishly, but I wasn’t under any illusion about having rights without it.

  7. I suppose at least now I suppose all the liberals from the US won’t emigrate here to avoid Trump. Poor Canada.

  8. Cynic – that ties in with my observations. I work in a multinational office in London. A number of people refer to leave voters as “the Brexit w*****s”. While the leavers have rational conversations with the Romanians on the team about whether they’re planning on applying for British citizenship.

  9. Maybe the BBC should interview me; I’ve consideried whether we might return to the UK because of Brexit.

  10. There’s a fair bit of selection bias going on here. These people have already demonstrated that they have the drive to better themselves by coming here. They seem to have done well, getting education, skills and experience. They are also at the age where they should be looking to move on from their current roles to further develop their careers.

    The real question is: why wouldn’t they be looking at websites that promise paradise? I’d also like to know how many other job search websites are they registered with that just provide jobs here?

    This is an “anyone been raped and speak English” story that the BBC has always specialised in to further their agenda.

  11. As an aside- what are we all changing our profile pics to, to show solidarity with the St Petersburg blast victims?

  12. When people called Joe Smith, Jane Jones and even Mr and Mrs Benedict Cholmondley-Simpering wish to leave, then that is news.

    Indeed. As Bloke in North Dorset rightly points out, there is some serious selection bias going on here: they might as well have interviewed me and presented my hopping between countries every few years as the reaction to political disappointments.

  13. Maybe the BBC should interview me; I’ve consideried whether we might return to the UK because of Brexit.

    Yeah, they’ll never do that. Or report on those who were thinking of moving but are now sticking around.

  14. Yet didn’t manage to fill out the forms to get UK citizenship that would have allowed her to vote on the issue. I wonder why not?

    Exactly.

  15. Either we’re in some weird bubble of exception, or these people are just imagining shit.

    I’d say the latter: interview enough people and you’ll eventually get a handful of responses you want to hear.

  16. Meant to add this earlier. With journalists it is always good to remember that old adage: Dog Bites Man is not news, but Man Bites Dog is.

    Therefore all journalists are looking for the unusual. Reporting the usual is frowned upon, so if we say that the usual is the vast majority being happy and staying put then the hack has to go and search (desperately, in the Beeb’s case) for someone who isn’t happy.

    Apparently misery exists, so lets get it in the headlines if it suits our agenda.

  17. …even if the misery only exists in homeopathic concentrations. Dig until you find some, then present it as the whole story.

  18. On a tangent, but I’ve long noticed that the more knowledgeable – and even more so the more personally experienced one is – the more often the work of journalists and the media proves to be utter cockrot.

    I’ve lived most of my adult life with foreigners – and I mean lived. I’ve barely encountered racism. Lots of political incorrectness, but only the clinically idiotic confuse the two.

    Sexism: ditto.

    Economics: after being “red pilled” by the likes of Timmy Worstall, I shake my head at most of what I read and hear.

    Climate “change”…

  19. If she can afford to buy a flat in London she is fucking minted. She did a masters and within 7 more years had bought and sold a London flat? Given the masters reference I assume she is in her twenties. Where the fuck did she get the cash to even afford a deposit, let alone mortgage, on a London property?

    Moves to a foreign country, makes a packet buying and selling a property, then fucks off blaming the locals. What a hellhole it must have been.

  20. I’m a bit late to this one but I googled the Slovak girl and she’s on linkedin.

    After her masters she had a number of client relationship manager roles then at one firm (Debtwire, specialised online info/news service) swerved into a writing role. You quite often see people from the commercial side move to the editorial because it’s more interesting. She didn’t last long at Debtwire as a writer so went off to do a journalism course while freelancing.

    None of that would have bought property in London so she’s clearly got family wedge. She’s also clearly not making it as a hack. That’s why she’s leaving.
    Brexit my arse.

  21. So basically, of the three people highlighted in the article we have a failed hack living off family money, a health and safety leech, and someone who, for some reason, is fleeing the entire EU because of Brexit.

    For some reason the article isn’t as persuasive as the BBC intended it to be.

  22. I’m a bit late to this one but I googled the Slovak girl and she’s on linkedin.

    Fine research, sir! Thanks!

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