Leaked paper warns expats in the EU face Brexit backlash

A protester outside a rally in London

BRITISH nationals living in the EU may face a post-Brexit backlash following the UK government’s treatment of foreigners, according to a leaked EU report.

The document, obtained by the Guardian, suggests the status of more than one million Britons living in the EU will be an issue for each member state to decide after the UK leaves in 2019.

“The fact that it appears to be particularly difficult for foreign nationals, even if married to UK nationals or born in the UK, to acquire permanent residence status or British nationality may colour member states’ approach to this matter” the assessment warned.

EU nationals currently must complete an 85-page form requiring a plethora of documentation, including P60s for five years, and a diary of all the occasions they have left the country since settling in the UK, in order to obtain permanent residency cards.

Some have even received letters suggesting they should ‘make preparations’ to leave the country after submitting an unsuccessful application for permanent residency.

The assessment says while “specific entitlements acquired validly in the past,” such as ownership of a property or a pension, may continue to apply, it “cannot be considered” that a person who is no longer an EU citizen will continue to have unrestricted rights to EU benefits unless specific provisions are made.

It also predicts these issues will take much longer than the two-year timeframe given after triggering Article 50.

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    • Charlie F

      13 February 2017 • 19:21

      This article has more leaks than Wales.
      Dont believe the scaremongers and especially the Guardian newspaper which has its own agenda!

    • craig

      13 February 2017 • 23:50

      Absolute rubbish. 3.5 million plus living in the UK as opposed to 1.6 brits all across Europe. dont make sense. it is actually better for each country to deal with it personally between the UK and them without Brussels.butting in. This article is absolute rubbish and has no substance ro it.

    • Brian Eagleson

      14 February 2017 • 08:40

      The EU document in question was leaked to – not written by – the Guardian newspaper. Any reference by commentators to the Guardian’s “own agenda”, or simply calling it “absolute rubbish”, are therefore irrelevant. It is an official EU document and it says what it says.

      People need to be made aware of such things – especially if they are likely to be directly affected by them. There is no point in hiding one’s head in the sand. The document makes clear exactly what type of reaction is taking place within the remaining EU member states to Britain leaving them.

      British expats living in countries inside the EU, like Spain, need to prepare themselves for the consequences of leaving. To be unprepared would be most unfortunate.


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