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Brits in Sweden express Brexit fears

Published fredag 15 april 2016 kl 12.55
Gavin Maycroft: It all smells bad and feels wrong
(3:26 min)
Sam Jones, Gavin Maycroft and Benjamin Cousins about the UK referendum.
Sam Jones, Gavin Maycroft and Benjamin Cousins about the UK referendum. Photo: private.

As the two sides in the UK referendum officially start campaigning on Friday, British citizens in Sweden say they are sorry that their country is even considering leaving the EU.

Benjamin Cousins is a game developer based in Stockholm.

"A profound sense of both confusion and disappointment is how I would describe it" he tells Radio Sweden. He says he feels so strongly European that he is saddened that there is a significant number of people who want Britain to leave, even if the leave side fails to win.

Gavin Maycroft, who works in culture, also feels that the debate over leaving the EU is bad in and of itself.

"It all just smells bad, and feels wrong. I like the thought of Europe being together."

Sam Jones, who works at an intergovernmental organisation feels similarly about the referendum.

"I think it's a shame that it's even taking place at all, and it's worrying that the polls are so close and there's a chance that Britain could exit the EU.

Many British people are also worried that a high Leave vote would be a sign of rising xenophobia in the UK.

So what about concrete steps that people might take?

Benjamin Cousins says he would absolutely consider taking a Swedish passport, and is even considering renouncing his British citizenship.

"Part of me is tempted to say, do you know what? Screw you guys. A Swedish attitude to Europe is closer to mine so, fine, I'll become Swedish."

Sam Jones already has a Swedish passport, but says the referendum makes him want to speed up getting British citizenship for his children.

And Gavin Maycroft is also feeling pushed into action.

"I may do a preemptive jump, and apply for Swedish citizenship, because it's not a position I want to put myself in, being out of the EU.

The referendum will be held on 23 June, and from 15 April the campaigns for both Leave and Remain will be funded and regulated by the UK Electoral Commission.

There are almost 20,000 UK citizens in Sweden. They have the right to vote in the UK referendum as long as they have lived in the UK within the last 15 years and are registered to vote.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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