Andrew Parker’s plans to retire to his home in Bulgaria in May 2020 were disrupted by the Covid19 pandemic, he now plans to leave the UK in April 2021.
1) How did you feel on 24th June when you heard about the UK’s vote to leave the EU?
Depressed, so I brought forwards plans to retire to my house in Bulgaria. Sad for younger generations losing EU rights, especially freedom of movement.
2) What were the key driving factors that made you decide to leave the UK?
Loss of freedom to travel freely, much lower living costs and better standard of living. Better climate and environment.
3) How/why did you choose your current country of residence?
After several holidays I decided it was where I wanted to spend my retirement. Used redundancy payment to buy my house and apartment.
4) Do you have citizenship for your current country? Do you still have EU citizenship? If no, are you hoping to obtain it?
I will be obtaining Bulgarian residency and ultimately citizenship as soon as possible. This will include EU citizenship.
5) Do you plan to return to the UK or hope to move to another country in the future?
I will visit UK to see family but otherwise will be staying in Bulgaria for the foreseeable future.
6) What was the most difficult aspect/greatest challenge you faced in moving?
Deciding to retire early. As I was not due to retire for another 3 years officially.
7) What do you miss most about the UK?
Friends and family, although I will still be just 3 hours away so not a major concern.
8) What do you love most about your current country of residence?
Space and easier lifestyle. Ease of access to other EU countries.
9) Do you consider yourself to have a “European identity” and what that does that mean to you?
Yes. I have always felt European first and British as a sub identity.
10) Do you still consider yourself to have a “British identity” and how do you feel about it?
Only in as an area withing Europe. Ideally still withing the EU.
Additional Questions (relating to Corona Virus)
11) How has the Covid19 pandemic affected your life?
I am a Keyworker so have carried on working (mental health support). But has caused me to postpone moving to Bulgaria for 12 months, so far.
12) How do you feel about your country’s response to the Covid19 pandemic compared to the UK government & media?
The whole pandemic has been poorly managed and makes the UK look ridiculous. Too little done far too late. Bulgaria by comparison has been much more proactive and restricted infection and death rate.