The uncertainty of Brexit: What the hell is up with that?

What the hell is going on with Brexit?

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Brexit has been an absolute shambles. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re sitting on, nobody is happy. The fact of the matter is, nobody was prepared to leave, nobody expected to leave and a lot of us still don’t want to leave.

A few people have personally messaged me about their situation and worries/anger and it’s no secret that it’s a sensitive topic (thanks for messaging me by the way). I’m sure all of could write a 20 page rant about what a mess it has all been.

It’s weird because I could have made this article almost 2 years ago and it would still say the exact same in it, as the Brexit decision hasn’t manifested much more than it did when the vote happened. In fact it’s ONLY JUST become a draft decision. None of us have any idea what is going on still!

The power of uncertainty

Uncertainty is a powerful thing. It makes people make decisions that they otherwise may not have made. Some people are saying that it’s all ‘project fear’, and that Brits living in the Netherlands (and elsewhere) and vice versa have nothing to worry about. The fact of the matter is, people don’t want to risk it.

Some people have chosen to return home, chose to sell their houses (or put off buying one at all), or have changed their plans completely in line with Brexit. Living in uncertainty is not nice and also not acceptable. It’s now November, a mere 4 months off March when the UK is expected to leave the EU and nobody has any idea what is going on.

Some people have even packed up and left their life behind because of Brexit

If you’ve been in the Netherlands or the UK (or elsewhere) for 5 years or more, you can apply for permanent residency – many people have already done that just in case. However, if you’ve been living here for under 5 years, then you’re completely in the dark. Securing a permit takes time and money and it’s something that you shouldn’t leave till the last minute. Whether people have anything to worry about or not, they still are. Uncertainty is the worst.


My 2 cents

I’ve had people say to me that ‘people like me will be okay.’ In other words, I fit their own foreigner criteria which is terrible. You can’t just vote to get rid of a certain type of foreigner (wtf anyway), whoever that may be, it affects every single one of us. Whether they are foreign living in the UK, or British and living abroad, it affects us all. It usually ends in a massive argument, because I AM a foreigner. My friends are foreigners. THEIR friends are sometimes even foreigners. Don’t be surprised if some of us get upset about it.

I’ll be sad to see us go as I definitely 100% would not have been here if we weren’t in the EU. People say, ‘well you can still move if you don’t live in the EU!’, that’s true, of course you can, people do it all the time. But with many more restrictions.


In my personal situation, I wouldn’t have been here. My university sorted an exchange for me to do my final semester in the Netherlands, as because it was in the EU it was easy, and I could get an EU grant to fund my stay during that short period. I wouldn’t have gone without that. 2 and a half years later, I’m still here and what an opportunity!

It’s strange to think that if I started my course only a few years later, I wouldn’t be here (my uni stopped the exchanges this year). Regardless of this, if I’d never have moved here, I still would have voted the same way anyway.

Here’s to hoping we all get some kind of answer soon, because it has dragged on for far too long. By the looks of how it’s going, it’s still all over the place. A draft agreement may have been approved by the cabinet, but it still needs to pass through parliament again soon before it can even be official. Many news sites and insiders are already feeling that the draft will be refused. Then it’s back to square one again…

Now it’s your turn… what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.


  1. Like everything. It’s not as bad as it seems.
    What about all the work that has been done?
    We just like to moan even when we don’t know what’s going on.

  2. We have left England in October, after 14 years in London and Bristol. Sold all we could, packed up the rest and moved on, without drama. The British chapter of our lives is closed now. Yes, we did think that we could make Britain the place we want to build our lives, build a home, but ok, it was not to be. To be honest we should have gone long before. You could see it coming, the vote was just the ultimate reminder of how half of British minds work. At the end it comes down to this: They don’t like us, they don’t want us in Britain. So, we have brexited. Simple. I know Europeans who will stay (as for now). Many others sit on their bags packed waiting for Godot (?). But I couldn’t care less for what is going to happen in the UK now. We are both 50 years old, we simply don’t have the time to explore the nuances of (mainly) English sensitivities.

  3. I am not from the UK; but i am certain; Whatever the outcome will be; it will definite give off “a signal” to other countries; If a Brexit DOESNT happen; then it will bolster the European Union’s foundation as in a “See? a Brexit doesnt work guys; Even the UK agrees. the only way forward is we stick together”.

    But if a Brexit DOES happen; it will bolster Anti-European parties in other countries as in a “See? a Brexit does work guys; The UK regained independence with pride! the only way forward is Independence”.

    I understand why people want a Brexit, but i also understand why people don’t want a Brexit.
    Feelings of Uncertainty, Fear, Pride, Greed, Hope, Patriotism, Revolution.

    Personally i believe trying to seperate oneself as a nation from the European union at this point is a little too late? I think its terrible whats happening atm; The UK went into this with so much confidence/pride; something that seems like an absolute trait of the UK; having strong backbone. thats what the UK initially radiated towards other countries; wow, they stick to their principle’s and will respect the wish of “the people”(its not a full 100% but still majority voted for brexit)
    But at this point that Radiance has all but evaporated; The UK might endup becoming the Black sheep/laughing stock of the European union to the whole world. And this painfull; Because the British people sacrificed so much during the war to liberate countries that are now part of that European Union.

    Just Like the Netherlands; the UK has slowly integrated/woven within the European Union carpet more and more; I believe that not even that British Pride can overcome something massive as; the European Union. They are very tolerant if you join them; but if you leave; not so much. They have been treating their former companion very harsh and making it very difficult for the UK todo anything really.

    But whatever the outcome I wish the (ex)citizen’s of the UK the best of luck in these uncertain days ahead.


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