British Home Office tells EU expatriates not to apply for permanent residence

Published:  26 Apr at 6 PM
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EU citizens desperate to retain a legal foothold in post-Brexit Britain have been told by the Home Office to forget about trying for permanent residency as it’s been ‘overwhelmed' by the number of applications received to date.

The huge number of applications made by EU nationals wanting to continue working and living in the UK has caused chaos at the Home Office, resulting in a plea to would-be applicants not to bother, as they’ll be kept informed by email news alerts about any action they should take in the future. Basically, Home Office officials seem to be advising worried EU citizens to sit on their hands and do nothing to ensure their post-Brexit rights in the UK.

The reaction in Parliament may not have been as chaotic as the state of play within the Home Office, but the Lib Dem party went on attack almost immediately, accusing the government of being the’ nasty party’ and incapable of giving badly-needed reassurance to any expat group either in the UK of overseas.

Experts waded in, stating EU citizens had absolutely no option but to apply for residency, especially if they aspired to become UK citizens. In addition, the Home Office’s action is in direct contradiction to advice being given out by the various EU embassies, which all state application for residency is the best way to avoid uncertainty.

Theresa May’s total refusal to grant the three million EU expats in the UK the right to remain post-Brexit until the plight of the over one million UK citizens in EU member states is secured is doing nothing to reassure either side that their rights and chosen lives will be respected in any manner. As a result of May’s statement that she was’ happy to walk away with no deal rather than make a ‘bad deal’, fears have ratcheted up in both expat camps, causing UK residency applications to soar over the last quarter to around 45,000.

UK immigration lawyer Colin Yeo told the Independent the government’s stance is totally unrealistic in that it expects EU expats to put their lives on hold for an indeterminate period of time without having any real idea of the outcome. UK expats in EU member states are having to do the same, with no hint of reassurance from the UK government.
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