British expats condemn withdrawal draft

Published:  19 Nov at 9 AM
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Tagged: UK, Citizenship, Euro, England
British expatriates across Europe are again accusing Theresa May of totally ignoring their plight in her rush to leave the EU.

As a result of May’s failed promises to protect the rights of UK expats in EU member states, two of the largest anti-Brexit protest groups have now merged in order to present a united front in support of their 35,000 expatriate members. British in Europe and the 3Million stated they and their members feel betrayed by May and her lawmakers, all of whom seem determined to throw several million UK expats under the Brexit bus.

A spokesperson for the merged campaign groups told reporters they’d seen good progress during the initial stages of the talks, but feel negotiators conveniently forgot their promises to protect all expats’ rights as the months dragged by. A statement from British in Europe pointed out that some 3.6 million EU citizens living and working in the UK will be forced to pay in order to stay in their homes, will undergo criminality checks and may lose residential status should they need to leave the UK for five years or more due to family or work-related obligations.

Jane Golding, the co-chair of British in Europe, said the group was told last March the rights of citizens were a done deal and would not change, but it’s now clear changes have been made which threaten free movement – a right of which, as negotiators are well aware, is critical for many UK expats. Chair of the 3Million group Nicholas Hatton reiterated that expats are indeed being used as bargaining chips, with members feeling totally betrayed by those negotiating Britain’s EU divorce. Worse still, he said, the Withdrawal Agreement as stated does not protect expat rights, but instead creates increased insecurity as it allows the Home Office to select the EU expats they want to retain.
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