Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

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Jessamine of Barrington: New German Citizen

by Susan van de Ven on 3 December, 2018

Thanks to Jessamine Davis, who writes:

“I first came to Berlin on the Erasmus programme, studying abroad as part of my degree at the University of Manchester. I loved the city so much that I returned immediately after graduation and have now been living and working here as a Project Manager for over seven years.

Berlin for me is a city like no other. It has become an international hub, full of opportunity. As it is still cheaper than many capital cities it is more accessible and has a widely open attitude to foreigners. Berlin is defined by its diversity, home to people from so many different countries and cultures, facilitated largely by freedom of movement between EU member states. Helped by this diversity and the combined experience of many different voices, the city fosters an endless flow of creative projects and has allowed for the growth of a thriving start-up business and social enterprise scene.

I love living here and until the Brexit vote had no worries when it came to regularly travelling home to see my family in South Cambridgeshire. The fact that this may not be so easy in the future could force me to change my entire life.  As well, a lot of my work involves travelling within the European Union at very short notice, something that may also no longer be possible.  So much of my identity is rooted in being a citizen of the peace project that is the EU and that being taken away from me is devastating.

When asked to share my story, I’ve been very much in limbo, facing the daily dread of headlines and what ramifications they could have for me.

However, on November 27 at 11am my application for citizenship was approved and I officially became German, holding dual nationality with the UK. I can continue living here without worrying about the future and will retain the right of freedom of movement across the EU. I am incredibly grateful and lucky to be in this position, but for hundreds of thousands of Brits living in the EU this is not the case. For them, the constant worry remains of having to make drastic changes to their lives, to their family’s lives and of losing their identity as they know it.”

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