UK was always a bit different from Europe

UK and EU were like two reluctant spouses who had to part ways one day

aasha

Aasha Khosa | June 24, 2016 | New Delhi


#David Cameron   #Brexit   #European Union   #UK EU   #London  
London bridge
London bridge

The rush of immigrants to Europe and harsh realities of global economy may be the trigger for the United Kingdom to seek a formal divorce from the European Union, but the differences and tensions between the two were visible to even a first time tourist like me.

 
It was about a decade ago, I had touched the Heathrow on my way back from a couple of European capitals. The first difference that struck me was the location of the driver’s seat – it’s on the right hand side of the car that would take us out of the magnificent airport.
 
“So, Aasha is going to drive us out,” said the driver of the SUV, when, he saw me quickly occupying my favourite front seat. I hadn’t realised that this was UK and not Europe. I was supposed to sit on the left hand side and not the right hand seat in the front.
 
Sheepishly, I shifted my seat and said, “Now, I feel at home.”
 
This was the first sign of UK not being like the rest of Europe. While rest of the Europe observed right hand driving rule, in the UK – much to the comfort of an Indian like me – it is the left hand drive.
 
I was beginning to make out that UK is part of the European Union but not quite like the rest of it.
 
I now realised the importance of a visa stamp on my passport from the UK embassy in Delhi. UK hadn’t joined the one-entry visa regime of the EU called Schengen visa. I had traveled across Europe on a single permit.
 
Next, while visiting markets, I was asked by shopkeepers to make payment in pounds and not the Euro. As we were advised, I had to do some haggling before they would accept the Euros that we were carrying for our visit.  Some of the shopkeepers refused to sell us good for Euro.
 
London, on the face of it was more cosmopolitan as one could see people with features typical of Africans, south Asians, Chinese, etc. while the European scene did not offer such variety of human faces.
 
I know the breakup between the UK and EU is a complicated issue for an Indian to comment upon. However, the only thing that I can say with surety is that they seemed to me like two reluctant spouses who had to part ways one day.
 

Comments

 

Other News

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Carbon neutrality: distant dream or a possible future?

While many countries have been chasing to reach the carbon neutral status, only a few seem to be living up to their pledges as of now. The famous ’Paris Agreement’ of 2015 was glorified and celebrated that finally 196 countries have united with an intent to mitigate and reduce the greenhouse ga

Agnipath: benefits and challenges on the path ahead

The government this week announced the Tour of Duty or `Agnipath` scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces. Under this scheme new soldiers will be recruited only for four years. This radical and far-reaching scheme has attracted mixed reactions from various quarters. While some officials

Connecting credit card with UPI: What it means for you

UPI has become an integral part of our daily lives now. We use it to buy groceries, we use it to send money to friends and family, we use it to purchase tickets, book shows, pay the cab driver, and a whole host of other things due to the ease and availability of such a platform at our fingertips. The best

Gandhi’s letters to his youngest son also hold his aspirations for nation

Scorching Love: Letters from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to his son, Devadas By Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Tridip Suhrud Oxford University Press, 528 page, Rs 1495 Gandhi’s era happened to be an era when letter-writing was a primary mode of communica

‘In Mumbai, society, police forces triumphed over Covid-19’

Crediting the citizens of Mumbai for coming forward to help the police in combating the crisis situation due to Covid-19, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey has said that Mumbai Police lost quite a few policemen during the pandemic but cumulative efforts, with citizens working hand in hand with the p

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter