Brits in Belgium get the green light from Brussels

Published:  18 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Citizenship, Euro, England
Brits in Belgium can now stay even if a no-deal Brexit is the final result.

As Brexitmania continues to paralyse the British government, common sense as regards Brit expats is spreading across the EU. Belgium is the latest EU member state to declare its intention to allow British expatriates to stay, whichever option is finally decided on as regards the UK’s departure from the union. As with other countries which have made the same promise, the offer depends on the same being allowed for Belgian expats living and working in the UK. Belgian lawmakers are now prioritising a package of measures designed to ensure the status quo for Brit expats isn’t interrupted.

The numbers of British expats in Belgium and the numbers of Belgians in the UK total approximately 25,000, with Social Minister Maggie de Block blogging that ‘citizens’ rights and the right of residency on a base of reciprocity’ are guaranteed. Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt welcomed the promise, adding that members of the European parliament would keep stressing an EU-wide initiative along the same lines. Given the chaos taking over British parliamentarians at this point in time, both countries’ resident expats are praising the development.

Once the welcome safety net is confirmed, the job-related fears of British expats employed by EU institutions should be laid to rest. Concern has increased to a high level as British lawmakers continue to dig their own political graves by putting job security before country, with the no-deal Brexit option still firmly on Downing Street’s table in spite of increasing calls for a second referendum. British expats across Europe have the same concerns as did their counterparts in Belgium, and are desperately waiting for a similar message from the governments of their adopted countries.
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