EU expat nationals in UK facing a stay or go dilemma

Published:  12 Nov at 6 PM
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As British expats in the EU grow ever more fearful of Brexit’s effect on their lives, EU nationals living and working in the UK are faced with the same crucial decision.

EU nationals at present in the UK have a stark choice – to apply for British citizenship, pack their bags and head back to the home country or stay put whilst keeping their fingers tightly crossed. Melanie Moerbe, a German national who came to the UK to study nursing and who is now caring for patients with psychological disorders, has just received British citizenship. Germany won’t allow dual nationality with non-EU member states, and Moerbe says she loves the UK, all her friends are there and she doesn’t want to leave. The process cost her £1,500, which she mostly paid by credit card.

Romanian Romeo Manciu is planning to become a British national in the near future after he arrived in the UK last August to work at Heathrow Airport. Although inexperienced, he easily found a job as a ramp agent and now wants to bring his family to join him on a permanent basis. He doesn’t believe he’ll have any difficulty leaving his application until after the end of next March, as he’s planning to apply for pre-settled status. Staying for five years will get him residential status, and six years’ stay allows for a British passport.

Polish national Barbara Lovatt wasn’t as lucky, even although she, her British husband and their adult disabled son have been settled in Birmingham for ten years. She’s applied twice for permanent residency, with both applications refused as she can’t support herself on her own after losing her job and now receives carers’ benefits. Her husband Martin is in work and supports the family, but the couple have decided to give up on the UK and move to Cyprus, where they have a house. Martin believes finding work as an electrician won’t be difficult as English is freely spoken,, and both believe the Cypriot cost of living is far lower than in the UK.
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