UK expat meeting with Amsterdam mayor brings hope

Published:  19 Jul at 6 PM
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During a meeting with around 200 concerned UK expats living in Amsterdam, the Dutch city’s mayor gave a ray of hope and advised them not to give up their UK passports yet.

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Lann told the assembled expats it wasn’t necessary at present to exchange British nationality for the Dutch option, as he and all Dutch people would do everything possible to minimise any post-Brexit changes. Applying for a Dutch passport, he said, isn’t even necessary at the present moment as a clear path to leaving has yet to be determined.

He added that it’s easy to apply for a Dutch residency permit after five years’ residency in the Netherlands, calming the fears of many at the meeting and providing reassurance they’d not yet received from any British source. The meeting on Monday afternoon had been called by Van der Laan after concerns about expats' future after Brexit had been submitted for comment.

In addition, the mayor made it clear that Amsterdam would not join in active lobbying to persuade British-based companies to relocate to the Dutch capital. The reason, he said, is that the Dutch are reasonable people and would not attempt to take advantage of a friendly country in need. However, he added, should any London companies decide to relocate, the city will do its best to attract them.

Of around 50,000 British nationals believed to live in the Netherlands, 15,000 are based in Amsterdam. In order to help concerned UK expats and give advice, the city has set up a dedicated Brexit Information Point with an Expatcentre office as well as a website. The aim is to keep expats fully briefed on any news or changes which may take place as Britain prepares to leave the EU after 40 years, with special attention to the concerns of Brits unsure about their futures in the country.
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