EU expats in UK suffering increased discrimination

Published:  12 Sep at 6 PM
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The British government is investigating evidence that EU citizens in the UK are being blocked from buying or renting homes as well as applying for jobs or services. #

Evidence is mounting over a disturbing trend towards discrimination against EU expats attempting to find jobs, homes or rentals. In response to a growing number of reports, the government’s Equalities Office is beginning an investigation into allegations that EU nationals are being prevented from buying or renting properties, applying for jobs or even booking a holiday.

Action was undertaken after EU expat group the 3Million sent the government a dossier of advertisements for housing, jobs, holidays and more, all stating ‘only UK or Irish citizens need apply’. Equalities minister Nick Gibb stated he was responding to the campaign’s concerns of illegal action by advertisers, adding he would be looking into all reports of discrimination against EU expats.

Campaigners from the 3Million group have found advertisements clearly stating applicants will be required to have British passports. Examples include an advert for a graduate job based in Bristol which demands fluent German but insists on only interviewing full UK passport holders. Another, a research position in Solihull, insists all applicants must have right to remain in the UK as well as a UK passport. Adverts for rental homes are using the same strategy, insisting on either UK citizens only or quoting different terms for non-UK nationals.

Travel agencies seem to be taking discrimination a step further as, whilst declining bookings from non-Britons, they are also cancelling vacations already booked by EU nationals. In addition, one law firm is advising clients that employment contracts should include immediate dismissal should the right to work be cancelled. When approached by the media, companies included in the dossier said the ads were ‘posted with a typo’, ‘are old’, or ‘made in error’. Expats who’ve been affected believe companies are now using Brexit to bully foreign residents.
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