The Brexit debate in the UK is focusing on the rights of EU migrants in the country, among them about 300,000 Germans. Many people are worried about what will happen to them after Brexit. But how are the 100,000 Brits in Germany feeling?
and tells the story of Esme, a young british Expat living in Berlin (of course), applying for German Citizenship and getting it just now.
For Esme, and I suspect for a lot of the Brits who are now becoming German, what started out as a practical decision about visas and passports, is unexpectedly raising deeper questions about identity. Can you really be both German and British? And what does it mean to be German anyway?
Not so very long ago, saying to other Brits that you’re becoming German would almost inevitably lead to some tired gag about Nazis or towels on sun loungers. And although some British headlines might still use those cliches – and you can expect a few more if Brexit talks get nasty – today, modern Germany is seen more often as a bastion of tolerant values: international, democratic and open to immigrants.
Let’s keep it that way. In fact, let’s make or keep this a European thing.