British government gives £3 million to help UK expats in EU get residency

Published:  2 Sep at 6 PM
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The British government is setting up a £3 million fund aimed at helping UK citizens living in the EU prepare for Brexit.

The money will be distributed to voluntary organisations and charities and will be focused on those having problems filling out the necessary forms for residency. Those helped will include the disabled, pensioners, Britons living in remote areas and those who need assistance with translations. It’s not known how many of the estimated 1.3 million British expats living in the European Union will need assistance, but it’s well known that bureaucratic requirements have discouraged many Brits from applying.

Had Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement been accepted, UK expats would have had no problem keeping their freedom of movement rights for at
least as long as the agreed transition period, thus giving expats time to satisfy the various requirements of their countries of residence as well as possibly making a final decision whether to return to the UK. The EU has urged its member states to take a generous approach as regards UK citizens’ post-Brexit rights, especially in the likelihood of a no-deal, but has stressed this course of action must rely on reciprocation by the UK.

Member states are being encouraged to use a pragmatic approach as regards the granting of temporary residence to those who fail to register in time, with the UK government’s grant aimed at ensuring all those who need help to complete their applications are able to do so and receive residency before the cut-off date of October 31. It has been reported that in a few countries, including France in particular, British expats’ applications are being refused for spurious reasons or delayed for far longer than is necessary, causing them to miss deadlines.
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