MEP taskforce updated to include both EU and UK expats

Published:  31 Jan at 6 PM
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In a follow-up to an article last week about an EU MEP’s plan to set up a parliamentary cross-party taskforce, a major French expat newspaper is now detailing the initiative's progress.

Sophie in’t Veld, deputy leader of an EU parliamentary group, mooted the taskforce due to her concerns about the harsh treatment by the Home Office of EU expats in the UK attempting to gain permanent residency or citizenship. She’s also concerned about the post-Brexit plight of UK citizens in EU member states.

Following her request for tales of mistreatment by the British authorities, a number of affected people have already submitted their experiences. The majority are from EU citizens in the UK, but she’s also heard from UK citizens domiciled elsewhere in Europe. The tales, she says are all different, but all come from long-stay expats fearing for their jobs, their lives and the security of their partners and families.

In’t Veld told The Connection newspaper that some of the testimonies she’s received are truly heartbreaking, with families fearing separation and disabled retirees terrified they won’t have heathcare post Brexit. A common thread is the harsh bureaucracy and unreasonable attitudes applicants have encountered as well as the 30 per cent rejection rate being applied. Most feel the UK government has had a negative change of attitude towards long-stay foreigners, with i’nt Veld determined to use her and her taskforce’s positions to put pressure on all the governments involved.

Her next task is to ensure her aim to hold an EU parliamentary public hearing during which expats will be invited to tell their horror stories to members of the European Parliament. Representatives from the UK government and the European Commission will be invited to attend and take part in the debate.

Ms in’t Veld is very interested in hearing about UK expatriates’ experiences in France and other EU member states, saying if Britons are being treated badly anywhere, the taskforce will add them to its remit.

Source: The Connection
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