Photographer Charlie Clift documents Brits in Europe ahead of the EU referendum

Francesca was born in Spain and is schooled in the Spanish education system; she is also a British citizen. She enjoys chocolate ice-lollies from the Iceland store that her mother occasionally visits to purchase British goods.

In the run up to the EU referendum, London photographer Charlie Clift has travelled across Europe to see what life is like for the 1.2 million Brits living in the European Union.

From archers in Estonia and morris dancers in Denmark to pantomime fairies in Venice and schoolchildren in Spain – the Brits in Europe project features over 70 Brits living in seven different EU member countries and gives an alternative viewpoint on the referendum reminding us how interconnected Europe is and how intertwined all the countries of the EU are.

Charlie explains: "With the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union looming on the horizon I was determined to see what life was like for those Brits who live in other EU countries. No-one knows what will happen to them should we vote to leave. Will they lose their right to residency? Will they lose their pension? Will they be able to own a businesses or access healthcare? How much will their lives be forced to change?

"After months of planning and research I finally found the diverse mixture of people I needed, so I hit the road. Travelling alone I joined each person for half a day and did my best to capture their life in a single frame. I dropped equipment into a venetian canal, got caught in a snowstorm halfway across the Alps, was forced up a massive tree upon entry to Tallinn, and was nearly killed by a caravan in Alicante. But I am always up for a challenge and I loved having the chance to really investigate Europe photographically."

Charlie hopes his photos help people to look at the European debate from a different point of view: "I want people to move beyond the stereotypes and statistics and see some of the human stories that will be affected by their decision on the 23rd of June."

To discover more about the people behind the photographs, visit www.britsineurope.com.

Via direct submission | All images courtesy of Charlie Clift

Main image: Francesca was born in Spain and is schooled in the Spanish education system; she is also a British citizen. She enjoys chocolate ice-lollies from the Iceland store that her mother occasionally visits to purchase British goods.

Bob brought Morris dancing to Denmark when he moved there 32 years ago. He had to give up his British citizenship to live there permanently and is married to a Dane.

Bob brought Morris dancing to Denmark when he moved there 32 years ago. He had to give up his British citizenship to live there permanently and is married to a Dane.

Kathryn plays the fairy in the Venice pantomime that is put on every two years. She spends her winters in Venice and her summers in Yorkshire. She likes the anonymity that living in a different country brings.

Kathryn plays the fairy in the Venice pantomime that is put on every two years. She spends her winters in Venice and her summers in Yorkshire. She likes the anonymity that living in a different country brings.

Geoff is the captain of a super-yacht based in Genoa. He spends half his time at sea and the other half with his Italian wife near Lake Garda. His misses British food, particularly in the winter so gets his friend to send him British food parcels.

Geoff is the captain of a super-yacht based in Genoa. He spends half his time at sea and the other half with his Italian wife near Lake Garda. His misses British food, particularly in the winter so gets his friend to send him British food parcels.

Isla and her brothers moved to Copenhagen when their father got a new job working in the pharmaceutical industry there. They go to international schools and are learning to speak Danish.

Isla and her brothers moved to Copenhagen when their father got a new job working in the pharmaceutical industry there. They go to international schools and are learning to speak Danish.

Louise is a dancer in the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm. She trained in Britain before finding a job abroad. The company has dancers from all over the world and uses English as it’s primary language.

Louise is a dancer in the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm. She trained in Britain before finding a job abroad. The company has dancers from all over the world and uses English as it’s primary language.

Peter has been living in a van and travelling for the last 28 years with his partner. He has had many heart attacks and now has been fitted with a defibrillator by Spanish doctors. He says that European countries are a lot more open to the travelling lifestyle.

Peter has been living in a van and travelling for the last 28 years with his partner. He has had many heart attacks and now has been fitted with a defibrillator by Spanish doctors. He says that European countries are a lot more open to the travelling lifestyle.

Leena moved to Belgium when her husband was given a job in the EU institutions. She says life is more comfortable and relaxed in the international community in Brussels than in London. They are expecting a second child soon so her mother is living with them to help out.

Leena moved to Belgium when her husband was given a job in the EU institutions. She says life is more comfortable and relaxed in the international community in Brussels than in London. They are expecting a second child soon so her mother is living with them to help out.

John is a scientist at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble. Researchers from all over the world come to conduct experiments here. John says that it’s great having such amazing toys to play with.

John is a scientist at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble. Researchers from all over the world come to conduct experiments here. John says that it’s great having such amazing toys to play with.

Lindsey runs an events company in Venice. She met an Italian man whilst working as a travel rep in Venice and he asked her to stay. She struggles with the local bureaucracy but cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Lindsey runs an events company in Venice. She met an Italian man whilst working as a travel rep in Venice and he asked her to stay. She struggles with the local bureaucracy but cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Wayne is one of just three British plumbers who work in Brussels. He mainly has expatriate clients who are drawn to him because he speaks English. He also speaks fluent Dutch which helps him get jobs in the Flemish community.

Wayne is one of just three British plumbers who work in Brussels. He mainly has expatriate clients who are drawn to him because he speaks English. He also speaks fluent Dutch which helps him get jobs in the Flemish community.

Reverend Nick runs the Anglican church in Stockholm which is part of the Diocese in Europe and has many English speaking people in his congregation. He describes life abroad as feeling clumsy.

Reverend Nick runs the Anglican church in Stockholm which is part of the Diocese in Europe and has many English speaking people in his congregation. He describes life abroad as feeling clumsy.

Steve is a world champion archer who helps train the Estonian national team. He moved abroad for love when he met his Estonian wife at an archery competition. He says that his life in Estonia is more relaxing and simple.

Steve is a world champion archer who helps train the Estonian national team. He moved abroad for love when he met his Estonian wife at an archery competition. He says that his life in Estonia is more relaxing and simple.

Jo runs an English-speaking scouts group in Copenhagen. She followed her husband to Denmark when he got a new job. They have four children and she plays an active part in the social life linked to their international school.

Jo runs an English-speaking scouts group in Copenhagen. She followed her husband to Denmark when he got a new job. They have four children and she plays an active part in the social life linked to their international school.

Simon owns a Caribbean themed bar on Fuengirola beachfront and enjoys the relaxed lifestyle of the area. He moved to Spain for medical reasons because the warm climate helps alleviate his arthritis.

Simon owns a Caribbean themed bar on Fuengirola beachfront and enjoys the relaxed lifestyle of the area. He moved to Spain for medical reasons because the warm climate helps alleviate his arthritis.

Chris moved to Tallinn to help set up the leading craft brewery in Estonia. He likes being part of a growing business and enjoys the freedom that his new job gives him.

Chris moved to Tallinn to help set up the leading craft brewery in Estonia. He likes being part of a growing business and enjoys the freedom that his new job gives him.