I moved to Estonia back in 2010 out of a love for Europe and the drying up of opportunities in my hometown in the UK after the financial crisis. I found work quickly, fell in love quickly and very soon started a family. I am now a happily settled, married man with two beautiful children and a wonderful wife, here in Estonia. We bought our own home here a few years back and I am planning to call this place home for the rest of my life. All in all, other than anxiety, and despair at what is happening back in Britain, Brexit has had very little effect on my life, personally. The Estonian authorities have been nothing short of wonderful about it, and even without the withdrawal agreement, my rights were guaranteed. I guess I got off lucky, compared to most of the 3 million!
My wife and children are all Estonian citizens, of course. My kids who are 8 and 5 are both bilingual, with Estonian as a first language, though both have an odd twang to their accent caused by having a father with a Scottish accent!
Something happened at school last week though. It was a minor incident compared to what most of the people with testimonies have gone through, but still worth recording. My oldest son, Andreas, is already in his second year of school. One day last week, during lessons, one of the other boys in class turned and loudly told him that “He would have to move back to Britain now, and couldn’t live here anymore”. Obviously this was incorrect, but my son is a sensitive soul, and this really upset him. He had a nightmare that night about our family being separated.
I called the teacher, and the kid who shouted this was the class bully, so it wasn’t out of character behaviour for him, and the school head teacher has written to the boy’s parents about this incident. This is the ONLY incident of “anti-British” discrimination we have experienced though, everyone else here is very welcoming of me and it is almost shameful to see how Estonians and other Europeans are being treated, back in the UK.
So, while it was a mild story compared to most of the others, the point is that Brexit is giving ammunition to bullies, haters, bigots and xenophobes everywhere and giving them more excuses to be nasty and vile to people. ©
by Andrew, British, in Estonia since 2010
First published 29th February 2020
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