This article is originally written in Dutch by Merijn Merrienboer. He interviewed me last year November and asked about my experience of Brexit.
Sven Koster, 24 years old, moved eight months ago to the center of London. He works at a small startup and lives with his Chinese girlfriend in a shared apartment. A possible Brexit doesn’t interest him that much, in personal perspective. The question would be more how a Brexit would impact his girlfriend.
Sven met his girlfriend last summer during his master project in Ghana. She studies in London. This was for the relationship no problem. He finished his studies in the Netherlands, worked for another half year before he decided to move to the British capital. “I flew almost every week to London, but after half a year I decided to start my career in London,” he says laughing.
Starting his career went fairly smoothly. After three weeks, a startup offered him a job that fitted on his studies Innovation Management. He now works for quite some time for a small but successful startup. This startup brings onboard infotainment to public transport. With a big grin on his face he says: “Last month I was in the Netherlands to have a conversation with a large transport company, they were particularly interested in our service. Another transport company in the Netherlands is interested as well. If you are able to leave something behind for the company, that gives a lot of fulfilment. “Overall Sven’s career seems quite good for the time being.
… British have a kind of arrogance…
A possible withdrawal of Great Brittannië from the European Union doesn’t bother him: “I am not attached to the UK, if it develops really badly, I’m gone.” He doesn’t find it smart from the United Kingdom to leave the EU: “The British have a kind of arrogance. They think they can arrange everything by themselves. However we are living in a global world so this isn’t possible anymore.They still see themselves as Sovereign islanders, if I were them I would stay in the EU. The advantages of being in the EU are too big.”
The chance that Sven and his girlfriend will leave the UK because of a Brexit is quite high. They will have to leave the country if his girlfriend cannot find a job at a multinational. These are the only companies that can provide her a visa. a normal business or a startup don’t have the resources for this. An EU citizenship card could be a solution for this. However with a Brexit this will be impossible. The couple are willing to seek their fortune somewhere else in the world.
… Back to your own country.
Sven noted that after the referendum, the atmosphere has not been improved into the country. In social media groups, he reads some terrible stories from foreigners: “A German lady published recently via one of the Facebook groups an unpleasant experience. She asked me if I had the same experience. That woman was approached at the end of her working day by her English colleague. Her colleague asked her when she would go home. When she replied that she would go home in twenty minutes, the colleague answered, I meant when will you go back to your own country. These are very nasty things. “says Sven. Fortunately he didn’t experience any xenophobic behavior.