EU MEP proposes individual EU citizenship for British expats

Published:  28 Nov at 6 PM
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Following a huge post-Brexit rise in applications by expat Britons for citizenship of other countries, the European parliament will review a plan for individual EU membership.

If adopted, the proposal put forward by a Luxembourg liberal MEP would allow UK expats and British citizens free movement and the right to remain in EU member states. MEP Charles Goerens believes many UK citizens both overseas and at home want to stay as part of the European community.

Amendment 882 has been proposed as an add-on to an EU parliament Constitutional Affairs Committee draft report dealing with possible changes to the institutional set-up of the Union. Goerens told the media he introduced the proposal in order to guarantee certain EU rights including residence, voting in EU elections and being represented by MEPs.

The amendment is expected to be voted on early next year, with Goerens hoping to get strong backing from EU MEPs. It suggests enabling an individual European associate citizenship aimed at British nationals wishing to still be part of the EU project and centering on freedom of movement in Europe, thus allowing UK expats to get on with their chosen lives.

Given the UK government’s insistence on immigration control, it’s seen as unlikely that Britons living and working in EU member states would be able to continue their present lifestyles and may be forced to return to the UK. Goerens is surprised by the surge of support his amendment has received, adding that many Britons have contacted him to ask if they can make certain the proposal is accepted.

The suggestion comes after members of the German Green party urged the government to fast-track the numerous British applications for German citizenship received post-Brexit. The Greens believe Merkel should make it clear Britons belong to Europe by expediting a straightforward naturalisation process which will ensure their jobs and rights to remain.
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