Brexit Refugees Invading Amsterdam Zuidas
(as seen in Hello Zuidas, March 2019)
Dear Britain, on behalf of Zuidas, we hope you stay in the EU. If only because we’d have a hard time fitting even more Brexit refugees here. We’re already doing our best to accommodate the European Medicines Agency. (If it’s ever finished, it will look like a big pill dispenser!) We’ve already got so many Brits flying home for the weekend that the best-connected British airport is Schiphol.
But what if there’s a No Deal Brexit? What will happen to Zuidas if all the Brits suddenly start staying for the weekend? Because they don’t want to jeopardize their Limited-Engagement, One-Time-Only Dutch verblijfsvergunning? …Zuidas might lose its status as the Only Part of Amsterdam Not Overcrowded in the Weekend.
In the days preceding the British referendum to Leave the EU, I predicted that YES Britain would vote to leave, and NO it would never actually happen. The EU has a time-honored tradition of ignoring referendum results. We Europeans believe in democracy! We like voting so much we let you do it over and over until you get the correct result. Yes, it was a shock when 52% of Britain voted to leave. And the day after the referendum the second-highest Google search was ‘What is the EU?’ It reminds me of the Churchill quote: ‘There’s no better argument against democracy than a five-minute conversation with the average voter.’
We respect the vote of the British people – except the ones residing in Zuidas, who weren’t allowed to vote. And except the Brits in Europe who had no vote. And the Europeans in Britain who had no vote. We’ll just have to make room for more British HQ’s to move to Zuidas – and more of the British FinTech industry to move to Zuidas. We have to respect the No Deal Brexiteers, who are intent on re-enacting WW2, this time as the losers.