'Hiding under the duvet with a bottle of wine': How Brits in Germany will mark Brexit day

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected]
'Hiding under the duvet with a bottle of wine': How Brits in Germany will mark Brexit day
The end of an era for the UK. Photo: DPA

On Friday the UK is set to leave the EU as Brexit finally happens. We asked how Britons will mark the occasion – if at all.


Hiding under the duvet, heading to the pub or taking part in a demonstration – these are just some of the things Brits in Germany are planning when the UK officially leaves the EU at midnight on January 31st.

Megan Bray, 27, who's originally from Margate in England, is helping to organize a protest called 'leaving reluctantly' near the British Embassy in Berlin.

"We just wanted to give people the opportunity to express their grief," Bray told The Local. "Some people are going to be wearing blue for the EU, others might be wearing black."

Bray said it would give people a chance to come together.

"It's such a loss of opportunity and identity for so many people," she added.

The protest takes place outside Hotel Adlon near the Brandenburg Gate from 4-7pm on Friday.

Bray, who moved to Berlin last March, added: "I think it is worrying, there's a lot of uncertainty. I feel very hopeful that I'll be able to stay in Germany but I think the loss of freedom of movement is really sad and limits everyone."

In Osnabrück, a pro-European rally is taking place at 5pm at Rathausplatz, organized by Pulse for Europe.

And British in Germany is hosting a meetup at The Castle bar near Frankfurter Tor in Berlin from 8.15pm. 

READ ALSO: Brexit: What do Brits in Germany need to think about before January 31st?

When we asked our readers how they were celebrating, there was a mixed response, with the majority of people saying they weren't planning anything.

On the British in Germany Facebook page, lots of people shared how they were feeling with us.

Nigel Crowson said: "I will have mixed feelings, I've been stressed out since the 2016 vote thinking it might not be possible to stay in Germany, my home, so the idea of Brexit happening and having to return to UK and be homeless with little money scared the hell out of me.

READ ALSO: Explained: What you need to know about applying for German citizenship

"Now since our residency is guaranteed after the ratification on 31st I will celebrate that, but will mourn UK's turbulent future, the stupidity of the leaving, and her destroyed opportunity to better a united Europe."

Proving that Britain leaving the EU is a very sad event for some, Antonia Epona said she'd be "at home here in Germany, hiding under a duvet with a bottle of wine, probably crying my heart out".
A Pulse of Europe meeting in Osnabrück. Photo courtesy of Charmian Bilger
Lorraine Dormann said: "I’m going to send my German hubby to work, pull down the blinds, open a bottle of red wine, turn off the door bell, refuse to return any phone calls, turn off my internet and watch a film on Netflix. Probably after a bottle of wine, I’ll forget what day it is."
'A toast to Europe'
For June Wayland, getting a German passport is on her mind. She said: "I will be in my German home, revising for my exam to become a German citizen."
Marie Cartwright plans to mark Brexit by looking towards Europe. "For me January ends on 30th this year. That day (31st), which for me is non existent, will be spent packing the car and getting organized for a snowshoes walking holiday in the Alps.
"On February 1st I shall begin my day with a smile and a clinking of coffee cups with my German partner, proclaiming a toast to Europe and all it has given me over the past 40 years."
Scot Gordon Guthrie in Berlin is planning a belated Burns Day (a Scottish celebration for the poet Robert Burns) event with a Brexit twist.
He said: "We have friends escaping Brexit Day in Bristol by visiting us, so we moved our Burns Supper to 'Brexit Day' and tacked on 'F*ck Brexit' as an afterthought. That kinda sums it up really. Brexit Day is just the day that the Brexit process finally begins, not the end of anything."
Camilla Leathem is taking part in a cheery type of protest. She said: "My choir the British Embassy Singers is planning on doing a flash mob at the Brandenburg Gate at midnight."

Andy Anderson said he plans to take his son to the zoo in Leipzig, and then head to a beer hall in the evening. And he was feeling more positive.

"Every cloud has a silver lining and to be honest I'm fed up with the doom and gloom which some Brits have descended into (needlessly in some cases)," he said.

"I think if you move abroad you take a risk and those who have moved, speak German, jobs and families are fine."

Meanwhile, Lizzie Boland jokingly hoped that there would be some disruption.  "My mum is visiting from the UK and hoping she will be stuck here and not allowed back in the UK," said Boland.

READ ALSO: Can Brits still move to Germany after Brexit day

For lots of people the aim is to ignore Brexit day completely.

Susan Ihle said she'd be doing "absolutely nothing. I don't see any reason to celebrate my EU Citizenship being snatched away".

Adrian Wood said: “Absolutely no intention of marking the occasion. I firmly believed that as I intended to stay in Germany, I would not be personally affected."

Patrick Donoghue said he plans to follow the media coverage "and then go to bed".
"Will be neither celebrating nor mourning – I'll just be getting on with my life," he said.
Kathrin Bennett said she'd be "feeling a mixture of sadness, anger and Schadenfreude".


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