New Europeans pushing Green Card as a solution for Brit expat free movement

Published:  7 Feb at 6 PM
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Is a European green card the solution for Brit expats’ free movement needs?

The idea of a European Green card as a solution to the Brexit removal of British expats’ free movement rights is now gaining ground. Originally put forward by pro-EU campaign group New Europeans, the suggestion is now gaining support from an increasing number of members of the European Parliament as well as from members of the public. Some 57,000 supporters have signed an online petition, with the group’s leaders now being invited to attend a hearing with the EU parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The campaign group has already been awarded a presidential medal by France’s President Macron, and are hoping MEPs will push the proposal towards its becoming EU law. The card would apply to British expatriates living as registered permanent residents in EU member states for five years or more pre-Brexit, and would confer continuing rights include that of free movement across the EU. In everyday life, it would be used as a confirmation of their rights to be treated as EU citizens rather than as expatriates. For EU citizens living and working in the UK, the card would be visible offline proof of settled status.

According to the group’s founder Roger Casale, the card will be necessary whatever form Britain’s EU divorce takes, as it’s a way to ring-fence other rights already due to EU citizens including the essential right of free movement for whatever reason. It’s especially important for Britons who need to travel frequently to EU member states, as well as to pensioners wishing to move to retirement destinations within the EU, including Spain. In addition, many administrative issues could easily be dealt with should the green card be introduced, thus saving expats time, stress and money.
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