The past 24 months for me have been an eye-opener. Move to Europe, you're a citizen they said.  My God.  Why is it so difficult?

Post Brexit working in the EU as an Irish person has been made much harder.  It shouldn't be hard at all.  But it is.  

The lazy EU stereotype that an Irish person is "from the UK" or in some way a "discount" or inferior version of British is back with a bang.  Most people and institutions that you encounter will be "very surprised" that Ireland is actually a country and that yes, you speak English from birth.  Be prepared for topics such as potatoes, the British royal family and the most bizarre of all "The Lionesses" whatever the hell they are.  Not my circus not my monkeys.  

I have explained the British royal family and William and Kate's wedding to a group of Chinese housewives with no English so I have no problem with any of that.  Still the tired, old, inherited and frankly centuries out of date British jibes kept on coming though, not from the Chinese, they were lovely and made me dinner.  

However, do not under any circumstances contact your home embassy as they do not care. The only thing they respond to are party invitations. Try to be a party invitation or a minor politician, a GAA star or a publican first. If you are none of these try to be one. The only other way to contact them is to have a relative ring Joe Duffy. Your mileage may vary though.  Bottom line they are not interested and will direct you to the European Union who will try to help but ultimately be completely useless.

The only thing that motivates change in the EU are the threat of fines and paper trails. FInes for the companies and paper trails are the kryptonite of public servents.  

I may as well stick in here that I was at the match where the Ireland ladies football team hammered Hungary.

Ireland beating Hungary 4-0

The List:

This is a list of my experiences and the lessons I was taught by them.   The main thing I can say that if it is illegal fight it and report it otherwise it will continue and you will have your time wasted and your nerves frayed. 

Discrimination seems to be a target in many of these places and not something that is willingly avoided.  Sometimes it is carelessness or ignorance and sometimes it is deliberate.  They look and feel the same.  If it is banned in EU law then that is what will be the first thing tried by them.  

First of all to get it out of the way because this comes up a lot:

1. You have the right to live and work in Ireland and the UK without question. British citizens have the same right to live and work in Ireland.  This has been the case since 1923 and was renewed in 2019.  Brexit had no effect on Irish citizens in the UK and you do not have to register for any special status like other EU citizens.  Brexit should have no effect on Irish citizens but it does as Europe really doesn't know what we are.  

Secondly and this is the most difficult thing to explain:

2.  British citizens do NOT have the automatic right to work in the EU since the British government made the sovereign decision to leave the EU.  British citizens cannot work as tourists, cannot do business and cannot change status.  This was the decision of the British governement but on the ground has made no difference as British citizens can just work being paid under the table.  

UK Citizens with residence permits and citizens present before the UK left the EU are different.  Generally the UK man on the street does not have the right to work in the Schengen part of the EU.  Neither can they work remotely, meet clients, have meetings etc.  But they do.  A lot.  They even move to places like Greece and Spain to work from the beach.  Brexit means Brexit except when it doesn't.  Don't blame me, blame the British government for Brexit.   

Neither can citizens of third countries such as the US and Canada work in the Schengen area without a visa or permanent residency.  Some incomprehensible leeway is given for God knows what reason to English speakers but it is not legal to work in the EU if you do not have the right or have not secured permission.  There are a remarkable number of English speakers working in the EU with no papers.  If you have a work permit you can ONLY work in that job and not take a second job.  This is simple stuff but it has decimated my market because the inherited racism means that the employers crave "better accents" than Irish ones.

3. Irish citizens can live and work in any EU country. Some countries will try very hard to deny residency and deny your right to live there. Open a case with Solvit if they tell you you cannot work because you don't have a social security number You can work. From day 1.  No, really you can.  Don't accept anything else and don't accept a contract "subject to immigration status either", you are a citizen of the EU and there is no debate.  No there is no debate.  Not a single "argument" that they come up with is legal nor is it true.  You can work, no restrictions, no visa.  You have to register after three months though.  AFTER three months.  Not before.  An Irish citizen is a citizen of the Union and does not have an "immigration status".  Countries will send you to immigration as they have no process for EU citizens outside of immigration office, 20 and in some cases nearly 30 years after joining the EU.  

Beginning in 2004, the European Union has granted EU citizens freedom of movement and residence within the EU, and the term "immigrant" has since been used to refer to non-EU citizens, meaning that EU citizens are not to be defined as immigrants within the EU territory. The European Commission defines "immigration" as the action by which a person from a non-EU country establishes his or her usual residence in the territory of an EU country for a period that is or is expected to be at least twelve months. 

4. If you are denied residency and are asked for more documents than are required in section 8 of EU Directive 2004/38/EC give the documents and file a case with the Ombudsman of that country and inform the European Commission.  I have a case open against Hungary because I was denied twice before being allowed to register.  Each time I went to register the queue was six hours long and queued from 5am at immigration with people from all over the world.   Hungary and Latvia demanded a lease, EU law does not.  

This is not provided for in article 8 section 3  of 2004/38/EC.

5. If you are discriminated against for a job and you can prove that you are being discriminated against in favour of   English speakers from a non-EU country travelling on Schengen waiviers or work permits  on temporary assigments, report the company to immigration in that country.  Do not allow them to pick your pocket. Companies will try to be sneaky and pretend they "can't find native speakers and need a British or American" that they can amazingly find with ease.  Both this and the native speaker nonsense are illegal.  

6.  Native speaker = British or American are the only nationalities accepted.  Don't even bother with Poland, they are a lost cause, they don't want us and there is no talking to them.  

7. If you are denied a bank account as an EU citizen report this. You have the right to a basic bank account.  

8. If you method of payment is denied. Complain to the financial services ombudsman of that country.  

9. If you are denied access to an app or website normally available to citizens of that country make a complaint. under EU Regulation 2018/302.  I am looking at you Tesco, Lidl and Aldi.  

10. You can drive in any EU country on an EU licence. No country can stop you.  Not even Latvia. 

11.  You can rent a car in any EU country. Yes even in Latvia.  This is covered in the method of payment points and  and Geoblocking legislation.  In Latvia I was told that Baltic licences are the only ones accepted.  There is no such thing as a Baltic licence. This wasted five months of my life but I got a ruling against the company.  This kind of shit is unnecessicary.  

12. If you are stopped on a Schengen border and travel documents are checked check this website and if the border crossing stop is not authorised make a complaint to the police in the country that stopped you and to Frontex. This is an unlawful stop.  You are a citizen and they had no reason to stop you.  It doesn't matter if it is on a bus or a train.  Looking at you Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Estonia. 

13. If you are in the Baltic countries, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and police stop you and instruct you in Russian make a formal complaint to the police in that country by email.  Do not comply with any instructions in Russian.  Insist on a language you understand or an official EU langauge.  Russian is not an EU language even though it is widely spoken in some countries. 

14.  As an EU citizen you are entitled to live and work in the European Union.  You do NOT have to take reduced working conditions.  You have exactly the same rights as citizens of the country you are working in.  

15. If a company in the EU forces you to be self employed "because you're foreign" report them. You do NOT have to be "freelance" for a full time position.  This is the destruction of the social contract of the EU and is strongly discouraged.  The British Council insists on full time workers being "freelance" so they can avoid social taxes and if you do become freelance be aware that you need public liablity insurance and professional indemnity insurance and you MUST get paid more as you are liable for social taxes.  This is theft from your pocket and don't stand for it. 

BONUS POINT:  If you are an English speaker and to "help" a company starts to bizarrely insist on Imperial measurements report them to the weights and measures organisation in that country.  The most bizarre conversation of my life, what is shown is only part of it.  

I just don't know.  And I know I made a mistake in my email.  I shoudn't have had to send it.  France has been metric since 1795.  

Bottom line and the theme throught this post.  Report them.  Report them and beat them and don't let them away with nonsense.  Do not accept their first answer and do not be cowed by anyone. 

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