Brexit Perspective on the Costa del Sol
Anyone following this week’s Brexit coverage from the UK parliament would be perfectly entitled to indulge in a stiff drink. Irrespective of our particular view – undaunted Remainer, staunch Brexiteer, ambivalent but keen for an ”amicable divorce" – we will be navigating emotional paths that traverse concern (about the eventual outcome), exasperation (with the politicians) and bemusement (with the contradictory messages and sometimes bizarre posturing).
At VIVA we profoundly share British angst over Brexit, and earnestly desire a satisfactory conclusion to the drama. Hopefully, the politicians will ultimately be able to put aside their differences and resolve the issue for the good of both Britain and the European Union.
In the meantime, however, a little humour is always good therapy...
One political sketch writer for The Independent was particularly eloquent. “The House of Commons,” wrote Tom Peck, “was a Benny Hill chase on acid, running through a Salvador Dali painting in a spaceship on its way to mad infinity and beyond... Theresa May planned to defeat herself, then decided not to defeat herself by defeating herself, then lost. To herself.”
Dutch columnist Bert Wagendorp, in another recent opinion piece, was just as brutally frank. “Brexit has split a once stable country in two and transformed its politicians into lemmings, throwing themselves off the white cliffs into the sea. It’s great theatre – but tragic.”
And Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar (which overwhelmingly voted for Brexit)... “’Asking me to support Brexit is like asking me to punch my constituents in the face. It doesn’t make it easier if you tell me my constituents want to be punched.”
Keeping It Light
This being the 21st century, Twitter has been awash with riotous jesting... “Trying to understand Brexit is like trying to figure out what colour the letter seven smells like” (@drjuliashaw)... “Brexit is like a sitcom where at the start of the episode the main character tells a lie about being able to skydive to impress someone and now they’re at the end of the episode in a plane about to jump” (@mutablejoe)... “Brexit is like if Farage and Johnson said, ‘May we make you an amazing apple crumble?’ and then 18 months later handed you a leaking bag of maggots and offal. You shouldn’t have to eat it” (@robdelaney)... “Brexit is like going back to Windows 3.1” (@petertimmins3)... There is also a hilarious Tweet about a certain part of a man’s anatomy, but this is a family website so you’ll have to check out that one yourselves (@ManMadeMoon).
Of course, for those of us already living in Spain or considering buying a home on the Costa del Sol – Britons especially but also the rest of us concerned for our British friends and also for the financial impact Brexit (hard or soft) will have on our own business interests and professional futures – none of this is really funny at all.
At times like these, there are really only two things we can do: wait patiently and hope common sense prevails; and make preparations for all possible eventualities.
To help us with the latter, Spanish authorities have – understandably, bearing in mind how many Britons live, work and holiday in Spain - been keen to offer reassurances and, in some cases, practical support.
This week, for example, Mijas mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado met with Brexpats in Spain president Anne Hernández and later announced that the municipality would establish the first Brexit working group in Málaga province, and pass on its conclusions and ideas to the Junta de Andalucía (regional government); and also set up an information office within the town hall’s foreigners department.
At a national level, the Spanish government has created a special La Moncloa website providing information on Spain’s Brexit contingency measures; while UK nationals (and others) can also stay abreast of “essential information” by checking out the Gov.UK website and subscribing to its newsletter.
For a final word of assurance, prime minister Pedro Sánchez wrote two days ago, “The top priority for the Spanish government has always been the same: offering rigour, certainty and security in this process – especially for citizens and economic players – while reinforcing the foundations of the future relationship with a country with which we have deep and varied ties.“