Our Members - See How Diverse We Are !
We can't be certain how accurate the estimates are of the number of UK citizens living in the EU, but the figure most likely equates to that of a fair-sized city in the UK. However, unlike a UK city, we are not an easily visible mass. Unfortunately, the British press often represents us with narrow stereotypical images that most of us do not identify with. To show how diverse we are, we are starting a library of profiles of our members, together with interviews, to give a taste of our lives as UK citizens in the EU, and as EU citizens in the UK. Perhaps, it's time for Brexpats Hear Our Voice be seen as well as heard!
Caricature-like images offend rather than inform. We wouldn't dream of suggesting that most journalists are like this. Sadly, all too often this is how some of them portray us!
Cartoon, profiles, interviews and photos must not be reproduced without permission.
Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed are entirely the personal opinions of the individuals who kindly agreed to take part in this project.
Moved to Malta for husband´s job in 2014. Both British. Work as brand manager for a local family supermarket. Brexit uncertainty hit our ability to buy a house in Malta. Worried about consequences for British imports.
Self-employed copy editor, with dual British/Canadian citizenship. Lived in Britain from starting school through to finishing doctorate. Married to a German national, two daughters both born in Germany.
Barbara, Mecklenburg Lake District, Germany
British born, of Italian/Irish descent. Had a local government career in the UK. Met (now-German) husband in India, 2004, working for an NGO (a non-profit non-governmental organisation). Moved to the former DDR, (East Germany), to buy a house with land and live a less stressed life. Spend winters in India, and do some freelance work in the UK every year until pension kicks in. Applying for German citizenship.
Jocelyn, Charente, France
Retired primary school teacher. Moved from North West England to rural Charente 15 years ago and have been employed by the Département de la Charente for 9 years as a foster carer. I've fostered over 20 children over long and short periods. Also study and play traditional French music with a small folklorique ensemble for dances and such.
Semi-retired family lawyer, a Heinz 57 variety Brit, who has practised throughout Europe, and the Middle East. Settled in Bulgaria where suitable property is affordable, living on state retirement pension, having raised 3 sons single-handedly in UK.
Jackie, near Udine, North East Italy
Moved 47 years ago from Selsdon, (was Surrey, now Greater London), following a passion for Italy which started at history of art classes. Studied Italian for sometime and secured an office job in Udine. Now retired from a state school teaching post.
Helen, near Loudeac, France
From Beds/Herts borders, married to Roy, two daughters, 19 and 21, at university in France. Moved to France 2003, for reasons including ridiculous UK house prices and tuition fees, making life tough for next generation. Also 18-year age gap means 'conventional' retirement would not be possible for us. We run a gite in the summer.
Chris, Valencia, Spain
Retired English teacher, 46 years in Spain, Spanish wife and 3 Spanish children. Worked in different locations for language schools, and the British Council. Retired following post as deputy director of a high-profile academy in Valencia. Have a Spanish pension, and small UK state pension.
Sue, Limousin, France
Born in Bristol. Worked in SE England, France, Belgium, the US and a short spell in Burundi. Retired to rural France in 2007, and immediately got involved in the community, serving on various committees and was recently elected as a local councillor. I also devote time to charities, and teach English as an extra-curricular activity in local primary school.
Rosemary, Hamburg, Germany
67 years old, translator/interpretor (semi-retired). I grew up in the Midlands before moving to London as a teenager. Met my German husband during my year abroad from studying German at Oxford, and we now have two sons and three grandchildren.
Anon, the Netherlands
From Hertfordshire. Came to Netherlands in 2000 with husband's job. Was as a scientific researcher but gave up work to look after house and family, including various animals. Husband left... Then studied Master's degree, learnt web-programming, and did, and do, various voluntary work. Currently unemployed, living on benefits, but an active anti-Brexit campaigner.
I have dual Irish/British nationality., but was born in Sudan and lived there and Nigeria as a child. My work, freelance management consulting focuses on collaboration and team development, takes me to Denmark, UK, Holland and elsewhere as necessary. Portugal is a great base, same time zone as the UK, friendly, reasonable cost of living, still somewhat second world.
Caroline, Amsterdam, Holland
From Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. Worked in the UK in a veterinary surgery, then, as Europe was open, worked and travelled with a friend around France, Spain, Denmark and spent 4 years in Berlin. Came to Amsterdam in 1980, met Irish partner, (sadly passed away in 2005), and had a daughter. Now work in admin in a social service department, (the only British employee), in West Amsterdam, a multi-cultural area not without its social problems.
Catherine, Correze, France
61 years old. Have lived in France for 5 years. Previously lived in Kent and worked in local government. Made decision to move because we felt the UK was becoming more aggressive, dirty, racist and expensive. Are both early retirees. Husband was in the Police for 28 years so we live on our government pensions. Bought our home in 2002, renovating it during holidays.
Moved to Brussels from East Sussex with work in 2002. Husband studied and looked after our daughter for a year before also finding employment. Am now an independent consultant, (pharmaceutical industry), and he is in vendor management, (telecoms company). We care for two daughters and one niece.
Liz, Normandy, France
I have lived in France for 18 years, previously part-time, commuting every weekend from Jersey where I was a secondary school English teacher. I took early retirement two years ago after adrenal burnout a few years ago, and moved here permanently with my husband.
Came here on holiday in 2004 when still working full-time in Bristol. Had a great job in the Civil Service, and my partner was a special needs teacher. A chance glance in a real estate agent's window, when the exchange rate was great, then some research, resulted in us buying a modest plot in 2005, with a single room and a toilet but an amazing view!
I'm from near London, and have lived in Amsterdam for the last 18 years. Came to the Netherlands to visit a friend after a particularly bad break up and divorce to clear my head, and decided to stay when offered accommodation and work in a bar.
We moved to Belgium from West Yorkshire 15 years ago. Permanent job with a big bank, (a lot) less commuting, better housing, healthcare, schools. and the opportunity to bring up the kids bilingually. The job didn't work out so I went freelance again, and I'm currently working in IT in one of the EU institutions.
Anon, French national, North East England
Born in the South of France. (Grandparents were German but they had to become French after WW1; they were from Alsace/Lorraine.) I studied languages at school, came to the UK as a French assistant, and ended up as a MFL teacher (Modern Foreign Languages). Married to a Brit with two bilingual kids. Worked in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Botswana and Malaysia teaching in International schools. In our hearts we feel international, then European, then French or English.