Tag Archives: royal wedding

Wishing Harry and Meghan all the very best

Laugh at me all you like, but I’m loving this Royal Wedding stuff. There are some truly awful things going on in the world at the moment, but for one day, I’m going  to smile, bask in the sunshine and watch two very happy people get married. Actually, I’m probably going to blub my way through it. The coverage had barely started this morning and I was filling up.

I’m slightly disturbed by the fact that someone I remember very clearly being born is now in his mid thirties, but I’ll cope with that. And, yes, a monarchy isn’t ideal, and …

Posted in Op-eds | 37 Comments

It’s not always so easy to get your American partner in to the UK

You would probably have a heart of stone not to feel pleased for Harry and Meghan. They are clearly two well-suited people who are very happy together.

While I’m delighted for them, I’m also very conscious that their experience is very different to that of many who try to live in this country with their partner from abroad and I want that to change.

I want this country to be a place that recognises that the world is much smaller than it used to be. It’s much easier to fall in love with someone from another country than it used to be. Mind you, one of my closest friends met her husband nearly 30 years ago at Victoria Falls when they were travelling around the world in opposite directions. They now live happily in Scotland and he is a British citizen and got to that state without too much hassle.

It can be very difficult to be allowed to live with your British spouse. A few years ago, party member Holly Matthies, who comes from the States, went through all kinds of traumas trying to get a British visa to join her husband Andrew. She wrote for this site about the toll it took on her mental health.

That first time I flew to the UK, my feckless answers to the questions I was asked — I’d just had to drop out of university due to poor mental health, so I was met with suspicion because they weren’t sure I had any reason to go back home — led to even more questions, and having to wait while the whole next planeful of new arrivals were processed, and then more questions. My partner, who was waiting to meet me, was found and asked questions to see if his answers matched mine. My checked luggage was fetched and searched. Eventually the border guards had to admit there was no reason to prevent me from entering the UK, but they seemed almost disappointed by that fact.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Opinion: we’ll have our street parties when Whitehall lets go

Today, the Prime Minister took on the “pen-pushers and busybodies” whose red tape is threatening hundreds of Royal Wedding street parties up and down the country. In language rather untypical of a Prime Minister, particularly in recent years, he said:

“I hope people are able to join in and celebrate and I am very much saying today that if people want to have a street party, don’t listen to people who say “it is all bureaucracy and health and safety and you cant do it.” It is very important to understand if anyone wants to have a street party you don’t need a food license, you don’t need an entertainment license, you don’t need to have written documents about closing your street, you don’t have to pay for street closures, you don’t have to have special health and safety permission because there are councils out there telling you you do need these things – you don’t.”

Very nice of the Prime Minister to step in. But somehow I imagine few sighs of relief being breathed across the country, people giving up their fights with local councils and digging out their bunting.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments
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