Foreign Secretary Hammond speaks out in support of UK expats

Published:  4 Jul at 6 PM
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Finally, a UK politician has seen fit to speak out in support of UK expats living and working in EU member states and EU expats doing the same in the UK.

Hammond is the first member of the present political coterie in the UK to actually recognise the plight of the 1.2 million UK expats living in EU countries and the even greater number of EU expats living and working in the United Kingdom. The Foreign Secretary told it like it is, saying it would be absurd if negotiations resulted in a guarantee that EU expats could stay in the UK whilst UK expats settled overseas were forced out.

Candidates attempting to take over as Prime Minister when Cameron departs have all been urged to go for a guarantee that the three million EU citizens already in the UK will not be deported. However, not much reassurance has been given by the candidates as regards the possibility of deportation of the 1.2 million British expats living overseas.

To secure the right of UK expats to continue living overseas, bilateral negotiations for a deal must be between the UK and Europe’s key countries rather than with the EU itself. Theresa May, at present favourite for the jobs of party leader and Prime Minister, has stated she will go for a guarantee for both EU and UK expats, but adds only that the position would be subject to negotiation with the EU.

Brits living abroad under the Brexit threat have heard it all before and are taking into account the fact that, up until now, the British government has seen fit to ignore the needs of emigrants to the EU on many occasions. Speaking on a BBC Channel 4 programme, Hammond made his position clear – he hopes that both sectors will be able to stay as they were before the referendum. He stressed again the absurdity of EU citizens being allowed to stay in the UK post-Brexit, whilst UK citizens were forced to pack their bags and return to Britain..
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