Brexit +++ EU referendum +++ citizenship test +++ Absolutely Intercultural 208 +++

brexit-referendum-uk-1468255193y2pIn this show we will be talking about the UK referendum to leave the EU and some of the consequences it has had.

Many of the people that the referendum result would affect most did not have a vote and we talked to two of those. Once the result was announced there were reports about immigrants being abused and attacked. This made Ania, a Pole living in Scotland, a bit more careful when phoning home. And what about Britons who have moved to other EU countries. Will their status be safe? Gwen is a Briton who has lived her whole life in Denmark. Two years ago Denmark changed its law to allow dual nationality so Gwen decided she would like a Danish passport alongside her British passport.

absolutely European
So who was allowed to vote in the EU referendum in Britain? In the Scottish Independence referendum which we covered in Show 184 they allowed 16 and 17 year olds to vote on the basis that such a big change would affect younger people most and longest but in the EU referendum the normal voting age of 18 was kept. People from other EU countries who had used their freedom of movement to go and settle in the UK were not allowed to vote. That was about 3 million people. And Britons who had been away more than 15 years, like me, were not allowed to vote either.

One of the EU citizens newly settled in the UK was Pole, Ania Rolinska who works in Glasgow. I asked her what it was like living through the referendum period: are we absolutely European I wondered?

absolutely Danish
What does it take to be absolutely Danish? Gwen was born and bred in Denmark but has British parents and therefore is British. Until a couple of years ago it was not legal to have dual nationality in Denmark but now that this is possible, Gwen decided that it would be a good idea to have Danish nationality so that she has an undisputed right to remain in the country of her birth, now that being British no longer confers an automatic right to stay. The first step was to pass a citizenship test. But can a test show how Danish (or British, American or German) you are? By the way, Gwen did pass her citizenship test, just, as she predicted and now she has to wait 16 months or so to find out if she will be granted Danish citizenship.

Here are some citizenship tests from different countries (no authenticity guarantees!):

What do you think? Does passing a test like this mean you are fit to be a citizen? Should there even be citizenship tests? After all native-born people never have to do them. Let us know in a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page.

absolutely shocked
And so back to the UK where we will now hear from a Hungarian who moved to the UK with her whole family. Réka seems quite calm about the whole thing now but on the day after the referendum she was absolutely shocked

Can you tell that this issue concerns me a great deal? I think I’d better stop now but just in case you’re interested, I did try and sway undecided voters through a whole series of approaches, one of them being a website. So if you want to know more then visit

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on December 2nd so stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox




Image credit: Pixabay

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