Our Polish tech’s take on Brexit

Kamila is one of the skilled dental technicians at the Wired Lab. It’s been really interesting to hear her perspective as we approached the Brexit referendum and in the ensuing saga that hopefully will all be squared away in 2019. We thought you might find her viewpoint interesting too, so we asked her a few questions.

When did you come to the UK?

After graduating with a Polish Dental Technology qualification in 2007 I decided to move to the UK. I am now married with two children and settled in Plymouth after buying our first home in 2011.

What do you do at the Wired Lab?

I have been working for Wired Orthodontics since 2012 and my role is to complete the Simply Smile appliances. The main reason I decided to move to the UK was to follow my partner and settle down to begin a family.

How is life different over here?

The main difference between the UK and Poland has to be that UK people are happier — even walking through the supermarket I notice people are more willing to engage and seem more relaxed. It is more expensive to live in the UK but this is balanced out by earnings. When visiting family in Poland though I have noticed prices increasing over there.

What’s your take on Brexit?

Personally I think Brexit is a negative decision. I understand the government’s reasoning and the idea of having more control, however I feel you cannot completely cut out Europe as they are still needed for our imports and exports. Since the Brexit talks I have found travelling different with the requirement of more documents. Before Brexit I only required my Polish ID but I now need a Polish passport.

Has Brexit affected your family?

My family has needed to register again with the Home Office. I have decided not to take out citizenship in the UK due to the application cost — when my husband took his citizenship it cost over £1,000, which is not currently affordable. I have not felt the pressure to take citizenship since Brexit, and conversations I have had with friends living in the UK confirm the same feelings.

Has it affected how you feel in the UK?

I have noticed more talk from people in the UK who feel individuals from Europe are entering the UK and taking jobs — this is something I did not hear or feel before Brexit. My family’s future is to stay in the UK and I have no intention to return to Poland. I believe I would struggle to integrate back into Poland after being in the UK for almost 12 years. I have no adult experience of the Polish system and the equivalents of council tax, taxes, employment etc.

Best and worst things about the UK?

Best: people are friendlier, they seem more young at heart, and there is more job security.

Worst: the weather.

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