EU nationals “allowed” to stay in the UK after Brexit, what is the news?

An article published on Friday on The Telegraph claims that EU nationals in the UK “will be allowed to stay following Brexit.” The story was based on information received from “several cabinet members.” After the UK voted to leave the European Union in June, more than 3 million Europeans in the UK face uncertainty, as their status depends on exit negotiations.

According the The Telegraph, however, the UK Home Office discovered that “five in six could not legally be deported” as more than 80% “will have permanent residency rights by the time Britain leaves.” The articles add that “the remainder – more than 600,000 people – will be offered an amnesty.”

The story did not sound as good news as it could have been and many people, including British, have taken on social media to condemn the language.

Nicolas Hatton, of the The 3 Million Forum for EU Citizens, a group that defends rights of EU nationals in the UK, warned that the article “is not an official announcement by the Home Office.” He said: “This is a common PR strategy by the Government to assess the public reaction to a new idea (“amnesty”) and it should only be taken as such. Having said this, the vague plan described in the article could be part of a solution we would endorse but the devil will be in the details.”

All citizens of EU countries have the right to live and work in other EU member states. In Britain, EU citizens who have been resident for more than 5 years acquire “permanent residency” and after 6 years they can apply for citizenship.

The Home Office website currently says: “When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected. The government recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK.”

On such statement, a report by the House of Commons Library adds: “There will be no certainty on this until a deal is reached between the UK and EU. On the other hand, there is widespread agreement that sudden curtailments of immigration status or mass expulsions would be impractical, undesirable and legally dubious.”

Claudia Delpero © all rights reserved.

Photo by Duncan Harris [CC BY 2.0], courtesy Wikimedia Commons


Read more on this topic:

Europeans don’t have true citizenship. They have a second-class status dating back to Ancient Rome, argues Kabir Chibber. But the European immigrant doesn’t think of himself as an immigrant. He thinks of himself as a European – equal with the local citizens. This can lead to some strange moments. – Quartz.

The uncertain status of EU nationals living in the UK is “one of our main cards” in the Brexit negotiations with the bloc, said International Trade Secretary Liam Fox at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham. – The Guardian.

Xenophobia in the UK has been stoked by “considerable intolerant political discourse”, a European human rights watchdog claims. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance said racist violence had been “on the rise” in the UK. – BBC

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