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An Android-only app for EU citizens’ residency – finally, my time to shine!

Women using cell phones on city street.

 ‘I have been taunted by my iPhone-owning so-called friends for a long time, and can now fight back.’ Photograph: Caiaimage/Tom Merton/Getty Images

Years of struggle have come to an end; finally, after a decade of taunting, my people’s time has come. It has not been easy, being mocked for the apps we inexplicably cannot get, and the Instagram pictures we post that look like they were taken by a drunk child, but now Android users have the upper hand.

Maybe I should take the comical incompetency of the Home Office more seriously. It is, after all, somewhat bonkers that EU citizens in the UK (of which I am one) are only able to apply for residency on one type of smartphone, but if Brexit Britain has taught me anything, it is to look for the silver linings.

Like an ERG member no one has ever heard of celebrating the idea of making trade deals with Tuvalu (or was it Lesotho?), I am choosing to look on the bright side. I have been taunted by my iPhone-owning so-called friends for a long time, and can now fight back.

Gone are the days when Apple devotees could discuss some new feature their slick phones had that mine could only dream of; if they want to stay in this country – and yes, at this point it is unclear why any of us do – they will have to come to me.

While some employers have started buying Androids for their European workers, not everyone will be so lucky – and this is where the fun will begin. As it stands, I am picturing hordes of obscenely beautiful Swedes, rugged Italians and all the rest, queuing outside my house and my office, begging me to let them use my frankly crap phone.

“Please, please help me,” Sven will say, strands of his light and silky blond hair falling into his big blue eyes, wet with tears. “I didn’t meant to spend a full three months posting pictures taken in portrait mode on Facebook just to show off. I promise I’ll start liking those selfies you post that are so grainy they look like they belong on MySpace in 2007.”

I will laugh and consider my options, then probably slam the door in his face. It’s too little, too late. Maybe this is what the Home Office wants; divide and conquer is a tried-and-tested method of governing, and everything else they’ve tried has failed so they might as well give it a go.

The risk is that it could all turn into a Lord of the Flies situation, as we are all quite on edge anyway; it wouldn’t take much for us to strip naked, put warpaint on our chests and take to the streets. Or perhaps it is a business opportunity: let the one who has never considered walking around Kensington wearing a trenchcoat stuffed with Androids and approaching lone people at dusk cast the first stone.

After all, isn’t this what Brexit is for? A time for people to reinvent themselves, find their inner steel and bravely walk into the unknown, or so we’re told by people who have never attempted any of the above. Britain is an entrepreneurial nation yearning to go it alone, and if we want to stay here we must go with the flow.

Alternatively, you might argue that it is a mess of a country, stuck knee-deep in an identity crisis it refuses to acknowledge, choosing instead to focus on distant, sunlit uplands that surely must be just round the corner by now. Too busy focusing on its own denial of basic realities, it does not have the will or even the bandwidth to deal with minor, technical problems that just so happen to bring intense stress and misery to hundreds of thousands of people.

Similarly, we Europeans can look at our current predicament in a number of ways. Perhaps we should be alarmed and outraged by the fact that we moved to a place that promised nothing would ever change for us, then changed it all without the courtesy of asking us, and now seemingly see us as an afterthought as opposed to people with lives, jobs, worries, a future.

Or maybe this is an opportunity for us as well, buccaneering adventurers that we are, and we must grasp it with both hands and all the optimistic enthusiasm we can muster. I personally find near-pathological delusion contagious, and shall embrace that pseudo-blitz spirit Brits who weren’t born when it took place can’t shut up about.

If you need me, I’ll be working on a dating app linking single European iPhone owners to their Android-using counterparts, or maybe on a street corner offering a go on my phone for a tenner per settled status application, or perhaps something else altogether. Who knows, I’ll figure something out – as long as I’m too busy to face the reality of my problems.

[“source=theguardian”]