UK ambassador to Estonia denies Brexit reassurance to Brit expats

Published:  16 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Citizenship, England
Following the expat hostility seen at the British ambassadors’ Brexit meet-up in Paris last week, reports of similar scenes at an Estonia meet are emerging.

British citizens resident in Estonia are reporting the same lack of answers from British officials during a meet last year, with attendees leaving in a more confused state than when they arrived. One thing is clear, UK expats in the country are fully aware they’re being ignored by the British government. One attendee told the media Britons are now the ‘inconvenient collateral damage of Brexit’, especially as dual nationality is forbidden in the country.

The reason behind Estonia’s denial of dual citizenship is the large number of Russian-speaking expatriates living in Estonia. Another attendee at the meeting with the British ambassador asked whether the possibility of Estonian/UK citizenship had ever been discussed, with the answer ‘that’s a great idea’ not winning any prizes. Obviously, the British ambassador to Estonia hadn’t yet had the time or inclination to familiarise herself with the country’s constitution.

A dearth of satisfactory responses was the result of questions including healthcare, the rights of expats’ partners and families and migration in general. The group was strongly advised to keep their UK citizenship, but no-one saw any advantage to doing so as they’d then be living in the country as second-class citizens or forced to return to the UK. In spite of rumours that EU expats in the UK are being deluged with official advice on their human rights or statuses, reports are coming in that the vast majority aren’t being given any hard facts about their futures in the UK.

It now seems lack of crucial information on rights and how to proceed is being denied not only to UK expatriates living in the EU but also to EU expats in Britain, thus fuelling continuing speculation that millions of people are simply being used as bargaining chips during the Brexit negotiations. A large number of those affected in both sectors won’t have had the chance to vote in the June 2016 referendum, even although they’re likely to be worst affected by the UK’s EU divorce.
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