Podcast: Robin Gibson and Sean Gollogly discover the UK government’s Brexit advice site. But is it definite, or maybe? Will you need to come back next week? And how do you handle an EU car crash – literal, or figurative? Who knew there was so much in it? Contains uncertainty.
gov.uk/euexit HM Government
Not long till the Brexit, probably, and hardly anyone has prepared to leave the EU. It’s like the Christmas shopping thing. A few annoying people did it in September and keep going on about it. Everyone else, it’s in the back of their mind and the day before will do.
And if you get your information from the BBC, say, you might not even know you have to prepare. Most of the media has no information. On the other hand, if you listen to LBC or other commercial stations, and some do, you’re being bombarded with ads from the government about getting ready, as if there’s an imminent nuclear attack. Weird. Only LBC listeners will be prepared.
Anyway, the ads don’t tell you much – just scare you by directing you to gov.uk/euexit, a stark URL if ever there was one. That simplified version redirects you to euexit.campaign.gov.uk. Bit of a mouthful for radio – fair enough. And apparently it’s a campaign! Who knew?
When you get there it says “Prepare for EU Exit”, like a cross between Protect And Survive and the crash-landing instructions on EasyJet.
There’s a load of fun, Legoey figures, all smiling, none completely black, to welcome you in. Weird again. It also says categorically that the UK will leave the EU on March 29, so stick that in your croissants, delay merchants.
But don’t be fooled. Beyond the home page it’s a bureaucratic nightmare. There’s advice for businesses, individuals, UK nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the UK. We’re nationals, see. They’re citizens. Obviously they balked at ‘subjects’.
In the main, be prepared to communicate in the local language. Be prepared to pay a fee, and have your ferret tested for rabies before going on holiday with him or her. If you are intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over 90 days in the 180-day limit, be prepared to get a visa before you travel. And be prepared to have sufficient funds (for what?). Just be prepared, really. And don’t do any inadvertent roaming. Or fishing. It’s simple.
Illustration: Theresa Maybe by Rowan Tallant
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