Migrants’ Rights Network: Why I’ve decided not to become British

by , under Noel Dandes

Noel Dandes

Is it worth spending just over £1,200 to become a British Citizen? After weighing up the pros and cons Noel Dandes thinks that, in his case, it isn’t.

I recently wrote an article on the Home Office’s changes to the naturalisation process, and how they have been conveniently timed to coincide with the referendum. At the time, I was determined that I would see the process through, no matter what they threw at me — but now, after careful consideration, I have decided I do not want to become British anymore.

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Read full article here.

The reasons for this are twofold:

Unfeasibly high cost

The previous cost of close to £1,005 was already a stretch, and it would have been a significant drain on my savings account. The new cost of £1236, however, is close to unfeasible at the moment — and I don’t trust that our dearly beloved Theresa May, whom the Green Party quite accurately portrayed as a petulant child obsessed with kicking foreigners out in their recent #GrownUpPolitics ad, won’t change the fees again by the time I’m eligible.

Ideological

The UK is my home. It has been my home for nearly six years, i.e. most of my adult life. I studied here, paid my taxes here, started a career here; I even found love here. But the past eleven months, since the Tories were re‒elected, have seen a shift in British ideology. Where I once felt welcomed, I now feel pushed to leave. The UK has had its way with its European immigrants, and now we are being discarded.

The other day I calculated how much money I’ve paid into the British economy, and how much I’ve benefited from the social welfare system. Including my degree, I have contributed close to £27,000. In return, I received about £800 in benefits for two months, plus three visits to the GP in six years. I would say that’s good value for money.

Future uncertain

But the British government doesn’t care. We mean so little to them that two months before the referendum, it’s still unclear what will happen to us if Brexit goes ahead. Will we be allowed to stay? Will we need a visa? Will we be eligible for certain rights? Nothing but radio silence from David Cameron and his troops.

I don’t want to pick a side. I believe the UK and the EU benefit from each other, no matter what the media says. But if I’m forced to pick a side, I pick the EU. I was born a European citizen and I exercised my right to move to another European country — and while I feel more British than Greek after six years here, I will not naturalise just to be allowed to stay in a country that clearly doesn’t want me.

Read original posting here.

This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.

 

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