Transylvanians in the UK on Brexit

In some way or another, at some point, the Brexit process is going to finally reach its end. And the sooner this uncertain situation terminates, the better. That is the opinion of several young Transylvanian Hungarians who live and work in the UK and whom the Maszol.ro news portal interviewed. They were asked about their perception of the political back and forth surrounding Brexit and about what they expect for the future.

One of those interviewed, Emese, who had already been living in the UK before the referendum on Brexit in 2016, said that most of her colleagues and acquaintances are pro-European Union; they would prefer to stay in the EU and still hope that the final solution will be reasonable for the EU and the UK as well. “I feel that around 2016 the Brexit campaign was supported by many, as it corresponded to what people wanted to believe. But since then, many have sensed the negative effects of the Brexit push-pull. As far as I see it, neither Eurosceptics nor pro-Europeans are too optimistic at the moment” – Emese added.

She also mentioned that she actually “has one foot in the UK and the other in the US,” as she shares her time between the two countries. On July 4th, she cracked some jokes with her American friends; they said that the day of Brexit would become the British Independence Day, but there won’t be any country from which they can import fireworks …

Her own opinion concerning Brexit is ambivalent. She said that she understands Great Britain’s misgivings about the EU, but she believes that in an ideal scenario, Brexit would not happen and the whole system of this European alliance would be re-considered to better match the expectations of every stakeholder.

Lehel has been living in the UK for a couple of years. He believes that the Brexit issue will culminate soon, as the latest deadline of October 31st approaches. He said that the changes in the political situation and the effects of the discussions around Brexit can be felt in several areas. For instance, this past February, prices changed from one day to another; many types of goods have become more expensive; and the value of the pound sterling is not the same as it once was. He believes, however, that his life will not be influenced in a major way “as he lives and works legally in the UK and is a law-abiding and taxpaying resident who respects every citizen of the country.” On the other hand, Lehel is of the opinion that there is no turning back, and the UK will leave the EU sooner or later. “The question is how and in what form this will happen”– he emphasized.

Andrea moved several years ago to the UK as well. As she related, if one is not too mindful, then one might not sense much from the whole Brexit process. But the issue cannot be totally ignored, as the topic is discussed in the newspapers, on the radio, and in television programs. “I believe that this whole Brexit deal became kind of a reality show that people follow. Nevertheless, this is not a show, but reality itself” – Andrea emphasized. She added that it would be really important to finalize this never-ending interim state, as it keeps many people in uncertainty, and that is the worst state to be in.

The UK is due to leave the EU on October 31st. As the BBC reported, the British government plans to again offer up proposals to reach a Brexit deal with the EU. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made it clear that he wants a deal, but there has to be political will on both sides. Johnson firmly expressed several times that Brexit will happen whether or not there is a deal with Brussels. On the other hand, British MPs have passed a law requiring PM Johnson to seek an extension to the deadline from the EU states if he is unable to pass a deal in Parliament or get MPs to approve a no-deal Brexit by October 19th.


Title image: “In an ideal scenario, there would be no Brexit and politicians would rethink the whole system of the EU.”


Author: Éva Zay