brexit

British Expats Make Residency Fears Clear In “Alternative White Paper” to UK Government

A group of UK expatriates have set out their desire for the UK Government to protect their EU Citizenship through production of an “Alternative White Paper”.

The expat coalition, including Bremain and Eurocitizens, published the 53 point paper titled “UK Citizens in Europe – Towards an Alternative White Paper”, setting out their concerns over their future residency in the EU.

White Paper author Jane Morgan stated “Our paper shows that the complex position of individuals who have moved to another EU country.

It is clear that unless all rights are preserved, many people will have no choice but to give up their homes and their lives and return to their country of origin.”

The alternative white paper requests that the UK Government:

  • Include the concerns of UK citizens who have developed a reliance on their rights as EU Citizens in Brexit negotiations.
  • Preserve all of the pre-Brexit rights of UK Citizens living in the EU, and vice-versa.
  • Enable UK expatriates to retain full EU Citizenship rights, and not simply a “right to residence”.
  • Agree with the House of Lords that the pre-Brexit rights can only be properly protected through being formally included in the Article 50 withdrawal agreement.

Co-writer Jeremy Goulding added that the UK MPs have the opportunity and responsibility to safeguard the rights of UK Citizens in the EU, and vice-versa. At a meeting of the House of Commons Brexit Select Committee in January, representatives from expat groups in Spain, France, Belgium and Italy outlined their concerns over their ability to remain living in the EU post-Brexit. The major concerns included a reduction in pensioners income due to the weaker pound, as well as the potential costs of healthcare should agreements not be reached.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has already acknowledged the importance of securing an agreement on this issue, and has made steps to secure an early agreement with Spain over British Citizens who reside on the Mediterranean.

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