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脱欧公投让英国海外侨民不愿回家

更新时间:2019/10/21 12:02:56 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The expats who don’t want to come home
脱欧公投让英国海外侨民不愿回家

After four years in Stockholm, Jason Knight was getting sick of the dark, subzero Nordic winters. He’d broken up with his girlfriend, desperately missed his family and was mulling a return home to the UK. But once Britain voted in June to leave the European Union, his mind was made up – he was staying in Sweden.

在斯德哥尔摩住了四年后,詹森·奈特(Jason Knight)已经受够了北欧那黑暗寒冷的冬天。不仅如此,他还跟女朋友分手了。所以,无比思念家人的他考虑返回英国的家乡。但当英国今年6月通过公投决定脱离欧盟后,他却下定了决心继续留在瑞典。

“I was gutted with the result and I had a strong feeling that living away and enjoying the current benefits of being an EU citizen was a real privilege that I should make the most of,” says the 37-year-old teaching assistant, who is originally from Brighton in southern England.

“我对结果感到失望,我心里有一种强烈的感觉:远离英国并享受作为一个欧盟公民所应有的福利,会成为一项真正的特权。我应该加以利用。”这位37岁的助教说,他的家乡是位于英格兰南部的布莱顿。

He felt that many people decided to leave Europe without actually experiencing life there. “That kind of attitude made me angry and less keen on going home, when I have a job and a good quality of life here in Sweden.”

他感觉,很多决定离开欧盟的人并没有真正体验过那里的生活。“这种态度令我愤怒,我不愿回家,毕竟我目前在瑞典有一份工作,生活品质也相当不错。”

Britain’s vote to leave the EU came as a shock to many in the UK and around the world, and some in the country quickly started looking for an exit strategy of their own. Visits to immigration websites in Canada and New Zealand soared after the vote – as they have in the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected US election win.

英国脱欧公投的结果令英国内外的很多人都感到震惊,有些身在国内的人开始寻找离开这个国家的办法。公投结果公布后,加拿大和新西兰移民网站的访问量飙升——这与唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)意外赢得美国总统大选后的情况如出一辙。

But UK expats, who already live abroad, are more concerned with what happens to their current immigration status. More than 1.2 million Britons are currently living in other EU countries and legal experts agree that it is very unlikely that they would be deported after Brexit. However, with the UK yet to formally trigger the process or negotiate the terms of its departure, it is currently unclear if these expats will forfeit their current automatic rights as EU citizens, which include the opportunity to work without a visa and enjoy the same access to healthcare as locals.

但已经在海外居住的英国侨民更担心的是,他们目前的移民身份可能受到何种影响。目前有120多万英国人居住在其他欧盟国家,法律专家也认为,他们不太可能在英国脱欧之后被驱逐出境。然而,由于英国尚未就其脱离欧盟的条款展开正式谈判,所以目前还不清楚这些侨民是否会丧失身为欧盟公民目前所享有的权益,包括无需签证便可在其他欧盟国家工作,以及与本地人享受相同的医疗待遇。

Knight is one of a growing number of Britons who are looking to bypass this uncertainty by applying for citizenship in their adopted countries. While not all member states have made their figures available, one recent study of 18 EU countries suggested a 250% increase in applications during the first eight months of 2016, compared with 2015 figures.

越来越多的英国侨民希望通过申请所在国的公民身份来规避这种不确定性,奈特便是其中之一。虽然并非所有欧盟成员国都公布了具体数据,但最近对欧盟18个成员国进行的调查显示,他们2016年前8个月收到的移民申请较2015年增长250%。

“None of us know what the future is going to hold, and it may be that I don’t actually need citizenship, but I am not willing to take the risk,” says Vicky Hampton, 36, a British food writer who is applying for Dutch citizenship after spending 11 years in Amsterdam.

“没有人知道未来会是什么样子,我或许不需要公民身份,但我不愿冒险。”英国美食作家维姬·汉普顿(Vicky Hampton)说,36岁的她已经在阿姆斯特丹居住了11年,目前正在申请荷兰公民身份。

Dubbed “the Brexit Bride” by her friends, she and her American boyfriend have even decided to get married in the wake of the referendum, to make sure they are both eligible to live in the Netherlands after Brexit and return to Amsterdam if they decided to try working in the US for a while.

朋友们给汉普顿起了个“脱欧新娘”的昵称。在公投结束后,她和她的美国男友决定立刻结婚,以确保他们可以在英国脱欧后继续在荷兰合法居住。而如果他们决定在美国工作一段时间,这么做也可以使之顺利地返回阿姆斯特丹。

“As a feminist, I'd never really intended to get married as I have issues with a lot of the patriarchal traditions surrounding it. Now marriage seems like a sensible, if antiquated, solution. Plus, obviously we wouldn't be doing it if we didn't love each other!” Hampton says.

“作为一名女权主义者,我其实从来都没想过结婚,因为我对许多与婚姻有关的重男轻女的传统很有意见。但现在看来,结婚似乎是明智的方案,尽管可能有些老套。另外,如果我们并没有彼此相爱,显然也不会这么做。”

But what happens if you haven’t lived abroad for long enough to meet the criteria to apply for citizenship in another country? What if you plan on returning to the UK in the medium term? Or what if you can’t ever imagine going back to Britain, but want to remain “British” on paper?

如果在一个国家居住的时间还不够长,无法申请公民身份,那又该如何是好?如果你中途计划返回英国,又会发生什么?或者,你虽然不想回英国,但却依然希望保留“英国人”这个纸面身份,又该如何是好?

Looming uncertainty

若隐若现的不确定性

These kind of questions about the potential implications of Brexit on Brits abroad are fielded daily by expat bloggers such as Catharine Higginson, who runs the website survivefrance.com from her home near Biarritz in southwestern France.

专门撰写海外侨民问题的博主凯瑟琳·辛集森(Catharine Higginson)拥有自己的网站survivefrance.com,她每天都会碰到关于英国脱欧对英国侨民的潜在影响的问题。辛集森目前居住在法国西南部的比亚里茨。

“There is huge anxiety about Brexit in the expat community, nobody knows when and how it will happen and that’s making people nervous,” says Higginson.

“侨民群体对英国脱欧感到十分焦虑,没人知道它会在什么时间、以什么方式发生,这令人感觉非常紧张。”她说。

She reflects that the drop in the pound against the euro in the wake of the referendum is already affecting UK expats who are paid their salaries or pensions in sterling.

她表示,在英国脱欧公投结束后,英镑对欧元汇率的大幅下降已经对通过英镑结算工资或养老金的英国侨民产生了影响。

“For people on a tight budget it has made things 10 times worse. Many already feel stuck because they’ve bought their houses in parts of France where the French don’t want to live and work in, so they can’t sell them and move home. I know of people who can’t afford to heat their bedrooms this winter.”

“对于预算紧张的人来说,情况更是糟糕十倍。有些人感到很绝望,因为他们在法国人不愿居住和工作的地方买了房子,所以不能卖掉房子搬回英国。我认识很多人甚至在今年冬天都交不起暖气费。”

In Spain, the most popular destination for British expats, Richard Parnell, 45, recently launched a new Brexpats Spanish nationality course. Running from his existing language school in the Costa del Sol, it is designed to equip students with the language skills and cultural knowledge required to pass Spain’s citizenship test by the time the UK leaves the European Union.

在西班牙这个最受英国侨民欢迎的目的地,45岁的理查德·帕内尔(Richard Panell)最近针对英国侨民举办了新的西班牙入籍课程。这些课程都在他经营的位于Costa del Sol的语言学校内进行,目的是帮助学员掌握必要的语言技巧和文化知识,以便在英国正式脱离欧盟时通过西班牙入籍考试。

He says many who have signed up for lessons are pensioners who worry about losing their right to access free state healthcare as EU citizens.

他表示,很多学员都是退休人员,他们担心因此丧失欧盟公民享受的免费医疗待遇。

“It’s especially frustrating for a lot of people who’ve lived in Spain for more than 15 years and didn’t even have the chance to vote in the referendum” he says, referring to rules which prevented expats not registered at a UK address in the last 15 years from having a say in the vote.

“很多在西班牙居住超过15年的人都感到十分困惑,他们甚至没有机会参与公投。”他说。根据英国的规定,过去15年没有注册英国住址的英国公民无权参加公投。

Both sides of the argument

辩论双方

While 52% of UK voters backed Brexit, Leave supporters are less popular within the British expat community. Nadia Cann, who lives in Portugal’s Algarve region, is among those who voted for Brexit.

虽然有52%的英国选民支持脱欧,但支持这一决定的英国侨民群体比例却很低。目前居住在葡萄牙阿尔加维的纳蒂亚·坎恩(Nadia Cann)就是英国脱欧的支持者之一。

“I feel sorry for people who’ve lost out financially, but nothing is ever definite in life, you could plan anything and things unfortunately happen that get in the way,” says the 40-year-old. She hopes to retain all of her current rights, especially as her young daughter has Portuguese citizenship.

“我为那些遭受财物损失的人感到遗憾,但生活中没有任何事情是绝对的,但你可以计划任何事情,应对有可能出现的障碍。”40岁的坎恩说。她希望继续获得现有的各种权益,尤其是当她的小女儿已经拥有葡萄牙国籍时。

Cann believes that trade will be stronger “and we can get better deals with places like China that are not part of the European Union.”

坎恩相信英国的贸易会表现更好,“我们可以与中国等非欧盟国家达成更好的交易。”

Emma Butler, a CEO based in Indonesia, disagrees. “I personally don't see the UK being able to negotiate better trade deals with Asian countries as we would be a smaller economy after Brexit,” argues the 37-year-old, originally from Glasgow.

艾玛·巴特勒(Emma Butler)是印度尼西亚的一名CEO,她对此持不同意见。“我个人并不认为英国可以与亚洲国家洽谈更好的贸易协议,因为他们退出欧盟后,将成为一个规模更小的经济体。”37岁的巴特勒的家乡是格拉斯哥。

Butler was planning to return to Britain with her husband when their son started primary school, but Brexit has caused the couple to reconsider their future.

她原本计划在儿子上小学时跟丈夫一起回到英国,但英国脱欧导致这对夫妻重新考虑他们的未来。

“We’re concerned about the economic uncertainty of the UK economy, finding jobs if we wanted to live outside London and the right to live and work elsewhere in the EU in future. So we are looking to stay, even if that means spending a lot of money educating our child privately here instead.”

“我们担心英国经济面临不确定性。如果我们想到伦敦之外的其他地方生活,我们也担心找不到工作。在欧盟其他地方生活和工作的权益今后可能也得不到保障。所以我们希望留下来,尽管让孩子在这里就读私立学校要花很多钱。”

Fear of hate crimes

仇恨犯罪

Other expats have expressed concerns about returning to Britain with their foreign spouses, following reports of a 60% rise in reported hate crimes in the wake of the referendum.

由于有报道称,在英国脱欧公投之后,该国的仇恨犯罪比例增加了60%,所以其他侨民担心带着自己的外籍配偶返回英国后可能遭遇不测。

“I am discouraged at the narrow-minded place Britain seems to be becoming,” says one woman, who works for a charity in Bucharest and wants to remain anonymous to protect her employer.

“英国正在变成一个心胸狭隘的地方,这让我感到很灰心。”一位在罗马尼亚首都布加勒斯特从事慈善事业的女士说,为了保护雇主,她不肯公开自己的姓名。

“I am worried if my partner will be attacked for having the nerve to be Romanian in public. Perhaps I am being too pessimistic but I honestly cannot see things getting better quickly.”

“我很担心,如果我的丈夫敢在公共场所说自己是个罗马尼亚人,他可能会遭到攻击。我的态度可能过于消极,但我真的不认为情况能够很快好转。”

Back in the Algarve, Brexit supporter Cann argues that while she “feels sorry about the attacks”, she favours limiting migration to the UK, despite having benefited from freedom of movement as an EU citizen herself.

回到阿尔加维,英国脱欧的支持者坎恩认为,虽然她“对攻击事件感到遗憾”,但她还是希望英国能够限制移民——尽管她本人作为一个欧洲公民已经享受到自由流动带来的好处。

“Immigration is a huge factor for me even though I moved into someone else’s country,” she says, adding that she would like the UK to introduce an Australian-style points system to “make sure all immigrants are skilled”.

“即便我搬到别人的国家,移民对我来说仍是一个重大因素。”她说。她希望英国能够推出类似于澳大利亚的积分系统,“确保所有移民都是有技能的人才。”

At the same time, she remains highly optimistic about the rights of British expats after Brexit.

与此同时,她对英国脱欧之后的英国侨民权利仍然非常乐观。

“Everyone needs to calm down... ride it out and see what happens.”

“大家应该冷静一下……静待事情变化。”

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