The Estonian government is offering young Britons distraught over Brexit the chance to “stay in the EU” – for a €100 fee.
Officials in the digitally-savvy Eastern European nation have launched a website tugging at the European heartstrings of pro-Remain Britons, and are using targeted ads to find them on social media.
The PR push is designed to promote the former Soviet state’s “e-residency” scheme, which lets foreigners become a technical resident of the EU member state without having to go there.
As well as an online sales pitch, the Estonian embassy has also held at least one event in London promoting the scheme:
e-residency was launched two years ago – before Brexit even seemed possible. But Estonian civil servants have spotted their opportunity, and re-worked their pitch as an emotional response to the vote.
The social media ad for the service asks whether users are “concerned about the Brexit?”
The advert links to a site – howtostayin.eu – which offers the chance to “do business in the EU while living in the UK”.
Heat Street was passed this version, which displayed to a politically-interested professional in their mid-twenties who lives in London – the most pro-EU demographic in the whole UK:
There are sound business reasons for using such a service – but the post-Brexit offer is aimed squarely at the emotional value many Remainers attach to EU membership.
For those who – somewhat hastily – pledged to abandon the UK if the referendum did not go their way, it offers a get-out to show solidarity with the EU without the hassle of actually going anywhere.
The service adds another way for unhappy Brits to cling to Europe. Many with heritage from other countries have been applying for EU passports – with so many requests flooding into Ireland that the authorities asked people to stop.
Last week senior MEP Guy Verhofstadt even suggested that British citizens be offered the chance to purchase “associate” citizenship on an individual basis by the remainder of the union.
Featured image, of Talinn, Estonia, via Flickr/Dennis Jarvis