UK Brexit Minister told to do More for Expats
Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit chief, has stated that he wants to see Britons currently living abroad in the EU to be treated more fairly.
He recently visited London to urge the UK’s Brexit Minister, Steve Barclay, to do more with regards to the rights of UK expats.
A resolution was passed by the parliament this week (by a large majority), which expressed concerns about how EU citizens are being treated in the UK and calling for more rights for Britons living in the EU. This included the continued freedom of movement across the EU for those living in EU countries before the end of the Brexit transition period.
EU citizens living in the UK have been told they need to apply for residency, rather than it being an automatic registration process, and they wouldn’t have a physical card/permit to prove that they are registered. Many are also anxious about the possibility of being deported if deadlines are missed.
As well as freedom of movement within the EU, British expats living there would also be calling for further improvements such as voting rights (in local elections).
The MEPs want more certainty to be provided before they vote on their ratification of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement at the end of the month.
With Mr Verhofstadt likely to soon be appointed as head of a new EU body, ‘The Conference on the Future of Europe’, there may be a possibility for Britons who are resident in the EU to have an Associate EU Citizenship, something which Mr Verhofstadt has been an advocate of for a long time.
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