Photo: The only way to celebrate in Italy when the restaurants are closed
On the morning of Friday 24th June 2016 the alarm went off in London at 05:00 for our drive to Italy. We turned on the radio. We were plunged into a state of shock. The UK had voted to leave the EU. When we entered the channel tunnel David Cameron was Prime Minister. By the time we emerged in France he wasn’t.
Four and a half years later the impact of that decision is hitting home. From the 1st of January 2021 EU citizens will be able to visit the UK for 6 months at a time. We however can only visit the Schengen zone, of which Italy a part, for 90 days in any 180 day period. The UK government have ignored the fact that its citizens will have fewer rights visiting the EU than EU citizens visiting the UK. Reducing our rights and increasing our costs – exactly the opposite of what governments are supposed to do for their citizens.
We’ve spent most of this year debating what we should do. Sell up, visit only for 90 days at a time, or become resident?
We’ve opted to become resident in Italy so we can enjoy all we have worked on over the last 17 years.
It being Italy the bureaucracy was a challenge. All in Italian of course, we had to manage forms, marriage certificates, translations, self declarations, health insurance, identity documents, phone calls, visits to the Comune and of course a lock down.
Today we collected our Attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica di cittadino del Regno United Gran Bretagna e dell’Irlanda del Nord. Confirmation of our residency in Italy under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. It means we’ll have to pay UK and Italian tax but we’ve put so much into the house and land we just couldn’t sell up so soon.
We can now look forward to spending as much time as we wish in our home, with our wonderful friends, food, wine and running/riding the roads of Italy. It’s also our ‘passport’ to visit as much of the Schengen zone as we wish. As the world gets better in 2021 we plan to make the most of it.