The social currency of owning an Android phone in Brexit Britain has grown exponentially over the last few months. Ask my friend... he’s been the most sought-after member of our community these last few weeks, since October 31 was named as the new Brexit Day. 

There’s been a mad scramble to get hold of him and his phone, on account of the fact that the EU Settled Status app was, at the time, only available to Android users, and he’s the only one of us with an Android. I swear, that phone has been passed around more times than a second-hand copy of Qawsalla. It scanned each of our passports, it demanded our postcodes and NI numbers, and asked if any one of us is a member of a terrorist organisation. As if any self-respecting terrorist would answer in the affirmative. 

I’m happy to announce that most of our company, mainly comprising of millennial Maltese actors, students and artists, have so far been granted pre-settled or settled status through this technological talisman. So we’re alright, thanks for asking. Although, during such tumultuous times, the thought of being deported at random at any given moment still lingers at the back of our minds. 

Perhaps we’ve been overdosing on The Handmaid’s Tale, and stories of the Windrush scandal. 

As things stand, all that is required of us now is to stick around for the next five years, with a maximum travel allowance of six months per year (which is quite generous), and a special year of leave in case of family emergencies or academic opportunities abroad. 

Ergo, the only thing we’re being deprived of is Vitamin D, but we’ve got used to that. 

However, we were hoping that by now, Malta’s offering of a special 10-year residency to British expats would be reciprocated. Just sayin’.

There’s also a post-colonial fantasy going around of a royal intervention putting a stop to all this madness, restoring order and tranquillity sooner than you can say John Bercow. Indeed, some form of deus ex machina would be lovely right about now. 

However, we do possess one privilege, along with the Cypriots and the Irish, that other EU citizens do not. 

Our joint Commonwealth and EU status gives us the right to vote in local and general elections, as well as referenda. I had an air of smug suffrage last year as I waltzed into the polling booth in Wimbledon. 

There are many cumbersome ways to deal with Brexit if you’re Maltese. I’ve witnessed the whole spectrum; tears, uffs, blasphemy, panic attacks, comforting re-runs of Blackadder, exclamations of ‘Madonna, x’waħda din’, and the ever expected ‘U iva, issa naraw’ (now we’ll see). 

I’ve even heard retching in the early hours of the morning after a briefing at the Malta High Commission. We’re only human. 

Nonetheless, I’m very proud of my posse for our stalwart handling of the situation these last three years. Our camaraderie has maintained our sanity, and we’ve kept each other in the loop with the million and one contradictory developments. 

Much to my disappointment, but not to my surprise, there’s been the occasional racist slur reserved for some of our members with a darker complexion and a pronounced accent, but this has never deterred us from speaking Maltese in public. Not today, eugenics.

As for me? I remain unscathed, except for the solitary unexplained dismissal last year, and not being allowed to pay monthly for a laptop at Currys PC World on grounds of not having a British passport. 

I am somewhat ashamed of myself for not having challenged these obtuse instances of discrimination, but as I’ve come to recognise the same pattern among my fellow compatriots, it is at present safer to adopt pragmatic compliance than to awaken the beast that is Theresa May’s Hostile Environment Policy. This is no time to be a smart arse. 

Although, when some pig had said he’d let me stay after Brexit if I provided him with sexual favours (I’ve worded this delicately), I did not come quietly, and proceeded to skewer the joint of gammon.

Admittedly, the white-washed armour that is my mother’s surname often shields me from institutionalised racism, but hardly anyone attempts to register or pronounce Abela. 

Some double-barrelled surnames are more equal than others here. Much like Malta, in fairness. 

Oh, and being white also helps.

Back in March, I had joined thousands of people in our march for the People’s Vote. 

We were still under the impression that numbers counted for something. Before this dejected resignation had sunk in, we still had a glimmer of hope. 

I had gone alone, but the universe has a way of making the Maltese cross paths. Twenty minutes into the march, I clocked a familiar face; a colleague from a previous film project back home. We walked together from then on but prior to finding her, I had banded with the Labour Youth Movement in their calls to end Tory austerity and oppose UKIP propaganda. 

When their speaker tried to ignite vocal support for Jeremy Corbyn, the response was less than enthusiastic. A crestfallen silence fell upon us, and those who had flocked quickly ebbed away. 

I moved on, whistling Ġensna.

The social currency of owning an Android phone in Brexit Britain has grown exponentially over the last few months. Ask my friend... he’s been the most sought-after member of our community these last few weeks, since October 31 was named as the new Brexit Day. 

There’s been a mad scramble to get hold of him and his phone, on account of the fact that the EU Settled Status app was, at the time, only available to Android users, and he’s the only one of us with an Android. I swear, that phone has been passed around more times than a second-hand copy of Qawsalla. It scanned each of our passports, it demanded our postcodes and NI numbers, and asked if any one of us is a member of a terrorist organisation. As if any self-respecting terrorist would answer in the affirmative. 

There’s a post-colonial fantasy going around of a royal intervention putting a stop to all this madness

I’m happy to announce that most of our company, mainly comprising of millennial Maltese actors, students and artists, have so far been granted pre-settled or settled status through this technological talisman. So we’re alright, thanks for asking. Although, during such tumultuous times, the thought of being deported at random at any given moment still lingers at the back of our minds. 

Perhaps we’ve been overdosing on The Handmaid’s Tale, and stories of the Windrush scandal. 

As things stand, all that is required of us now is to stick around for the next five years, with a maximum travel allowance of six months per year (which is quite generous), and a special year of leave in case of family emergencies or academic opportunities abroad. 

Ergo, the only thing we’re being deprived of is Vitamin D, but we’ve got used to that. 

However, we were hoping that by now, Malta’s offering of a special 10-year residency to British expats would be reciprocated. Just sayin’.

There’s also a post-colonial fantasy going around of a royal intervention putting a stop to all this madness, restoring order and tranquillity sooner than you can say John Bercow. Indeed, some form of deus ex machina would be lovely right about now. 

However, we do possess one privilege, along with the Cypriots and the Irish, that other EU citizens do not. 

Our joint Commonwealth and EU status gives us the right to vote in local and general elections, as well as referenda. I had an air of smug suffrage last year as I waltzed into the polling booth in Wimbledon. 

There are many cumbersome ways to deal with Brexit if you’re Maltese. I’ve witnessed the whole spectrum; tears, uffs, blasphemy, panic attacks, comforting re-runs of Blackadder, exclamations of ‘Madonna, x’waħda din’, and the ever expected ‘U iva, issa naraw’ (now we’ll see). 

I’ve even heard retching in the early hours of the morning after a briefing at the Malta High Commission. We’re only human. 

Nonetheless, I’m very proud of my posse for our stalwart handling of the situation these last three years. Our camaraderie has maintained our sanity, and we’ve kept each other in the loop with the million and one contradictory developments. 

Much to my disappointment, but not to my surprise, there’s been the occasional racist slur reserved for some of our members with a darker complexion and a pronounced accent, but this has never deterred us from speaking Maltese in public. Not today, eugenics.

As for me? I remain unscathed, except for the solitary unexplained dismissal last year, and not being allowed to pay monthly for a laptop at Currys PC World on grounds of not having a British passport. 

I am somewhat ashamed of myself for not having challenged these obtuse instances of discrimination, but as I’ve come to recognise the same pattern among my fellow compatriots, it is at present safer to adopt pragmatic compliance than to awaken the beast that is Theresa May’s Hostile Environment Policy. This is no time to be a smart arse. 

Although, when some pig had said he’d let me stay after Brexit if I provided him with sexual favours (I’ve worded this delicately), I did not come quietly, and proceeded to skewer the joint of gammon.

Admittedly, the white-washed armour that is my mother’s surname often shields me from institutionalised racism, but hardly anyone attempts to register or pronounce Abela. 

Some double-barrelled surnames are more equal than others here. Much like Malta, in fairness. 

Oh, and being white also helps.

Back in March, I had joined thousands of people in our march for the People’s Vote. 

We were still under the impression that numbers counted for something. Before this dejected resignation had sunk in, we still had a glimmer of hope. 

I had gone alone, but the universe has a way of making the Maltese cross paths. Twenty minutes into the march, I clocked a familiar face; a colleague from a previous film project back home. We walked together from then on but prior to finding her, I had banded with the Labour Youth Movement in their calls to end Tory austerity and oppose UKIP propaganda. 

When their speaker tried to ignite vocal support for Jeremy Corbyn, the response was less than enthusiastic. A crestfallen silence fell upon us, and those who had flocked quickly ebbed away. 

I moved on, whistling Ġensna.

Nicolà Abela Garrett has been living in London for four years.