When I came to live in London with my family in 2011 I did not have to think of a work or residency permit.
My children quickly found an excellent state primary school and after a handful of calls we enjoyed free healthcare and the right to vote in local elections.
The only real bureaucratic hassle we encountered that warm summer concerned a permit to park.
It all seemed so smooth compared to earlier moves to the United States – Egypt – Lebanon and Israel/Palestine.
Then again this time we were moving in with our cousins—weren’t we?
We had arrived as fellow Europeans but when we left this summer to return to the Netherlands we felt more like foreigners: people tolerated as long as they behave.
At best we were ‘European Union nationals’ – whose rights would be subject to negotiations—bargaining chips in the eyes of politicians.