Calais It is half past eleven in the late evening on the continent, and the ferry leaves from Calais. Great Britain is still a member of the EU. When the ship arrives in Dover it will have left her.
Stupid – just stupid: This is how Nick Schunke finds Brexit. The 37-year-old from Hanover takes the last ferry from Calais in Northern France to Dover in the UK on Saturday night and clears his frustration at the UK’s exit from the EU: “The British have well-functioning trade relations with the rest of the EU, and now they are throwing everything overboard to be alone again, ”he says.
Schunke is on the way to his British girlfriend that night. It is half past eleven in the late evening on the continent and the ferry leaves from Calais. Great Britain is still a member of the EU. When the ship arrives in Dover, it will have left – after 47 years of membership, as a narrow majority of the British decided in the competitive referendum a good three and a half years ago.
“My parents voted for” Leave “- the exit, says 22-year-old Briton Jamie Cunningham on the ferry heading home. “What idiots!” The student thinks the risk of Brexit is far too great. “It affects a lot of people, whether they work in Europe or in the UK. You don’t know what’s going to happen now, ”he says. Cunningham travels a lot and fears that he will soon “apply for a visa and pay dearly every time I take a ferry or a flight.”
This Brexit night also has a hangover mood among other ferry passengers instead of a champagne mood. “I just find it depressing,” says Italian Alessio Bortone, who has been living in the UK for ten years. The 42-year-old is married to a British woman and her children have a British and an Italian passport.
“I crossed four borders this afternoon,” says Bortone. “From Germany I drove to France via the Netherlands and Belgium. We Europeans built that up for ourselves, ”says the software engineer proudly. With the Brexit, annoying paperwork comes up to the Italians: for the first time he has to apply for a residence permit, he says. His British wife also accepts Italian citizenship in order to have a European passport – for security.
The 90 minutes driving time for the 42 kilometers fly by. The white cliffs of Dover are already in sight, it is just before midnight British time. A picture is projected onto the rocks: “The UK has left the EU” stands between a British and a European flag – “The United Kingdom has left the EU.”
The Brexit doesn’t change anything for him personally, says the Hanoverian Schunke. “Unless I soon need a passport for the trip,” added the Deutsche Bahn employee. For the journey across the English Channel, the German identity card is sufficient for the time being – at least until the end of the transition period at the end of the year. Nobody knows what comes next.