‘We have to keep calm and carry on’: Concerned Brits in Denmark look beyond Brexit

'We have to keep calm and carry on': Concerned Brits in Denmark look beyond Brexit
The exit to the Metro station at Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix
For Britons living in Denmark as well as Danes who have a close relationship with the United Kingdom, Friday marks a significant day as the UK officially leaves the EU.

Although life will largely continue as before – at least during the transition period, currently scheduled to end on December 31st – the symbolic significance of the UK leaving the EU today is clear.


We asked our readers in Denmark to send us their thoughts via email and social media on the day the UK leaves the EU.

“The uncertainty around Brexit is the thing I hate the most,” Rhys Sunderland wrote via Facebook.

“I don’t mind the fact people voted out or the result that we got. The problem I feel is nothing is black and white and everything is up in the air with no one supplying any answers to what should be very simple questions regarding our departure from the EU,” Sunderland explained.

Gavin M, who commented on Twitter, said he was “sad” but “ready to move on”.

“I want the best for the UK, Denmark and the EU, but it’s out of my control so why bother worrying. Ingen ko på isen [‘don’t panic', ed.],” he wrote.

“Desperately sad, experiencing growing sense of unknown about the future – pension rights, residence rights, freedom of movement, health care, EHIC coverage, all now up in the air. I moved to Denmark from UK in good faith, taking advantage of (freedom of movement), now everything is an unknown,” Alan Firth tweeted.

Danes with connections to the UK also offered their perspectives on the day’s events.

“The UK was my home for 6 years,” Rune Busk Damgaard wrote on Twitter.

“I fell in love with the country and its people. But the uncertainty caused by Brexit and the increasing anti-European and anti-immigration sentiment in the country meant that I had to leave. I could not see a future there. And it breaks my heart,” Damgaard said.

“I’m a Danish national studying and living in the UK,” Owen Purcell wrote on Facebook.

“(January 31st) is going to be a sad and sombre day for me as I wave goodbye to a lot of hopes and dreams which I hoped to achieve. Over the last few years I’ve noticed changes in attitudes here and a rise in the far-right movement, whether that be racism, homophobia or sexism. There is a real sense that the UK is moving backwards,” Purcell wrote.

Other Britons who live in Denmark expressed concerns over the potential impact on their businesses.

 “I am a UK national living and running my business, JOLT_, in Denmark. I won’t be marking the day in any way, but it does make me sad that this was the course of action chosen by some of those in the UK, so we have to keep calm and carry on and figure it out as we go,” Emma Roberts wrote on the same media.

“I just hope it doesn’t negatively affect the UK too much. I am already having to consider it another market in my company as EU licenses no longer extend to it, so it will affect my day to day life and others running international companies,” she pointed out.

What about British-Danish families who live in other EU countries?

“(I’m) British with a Danish wife and two kids living in Spain,” Paul Darwent, who runs a village bar in the Iberian country, wrote on Facebook.

“Gladly my family hold Danish passports. The only one that may have problems is myself. Can't get Danish nationality because I don't live there, might have to get Spanish though,” Darwent said.

“It is all complete madness so we have decided to mark the event with a ‘tongue in cheek’ celebration party in our bar. All are welcome. Even Tories,” he joked.

READ ALSO: The Local's view: Most Brits in Europe didn't ask for Brexit, but now we have to make it work

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