BRITISH nationals living in the EU may face a post-Brexit backlash following the UK government’s treatment of foreigners, according to a leaked EU report.
The document, obtained by the Guardian, suggests the status of more than one million Britons living in the EU will be an issue for each member state to decide after the UK leaves in 2019.
“The fact that it appears to be particularly difficult for foreign nationals, even if married to UK nationals or born in the UK, to acquire permanent residence status or British nationality may colour member states’ approach to this matter” the assessment warned.
EU nationals currently must complete an 85-page form requiring a plethora of documentation, including P60s for five years, and a diary of all the occasions they have left the country since settling in the UK, in order to obtain permanent residency cards.
Some have even received letters suggesting they should ‘make preparations’ to leave the country after submitting an unsuccessful application for permanent residency.
The assessment says while “specific entitlements acquired validly in the past,” such as ownership of a property or a pension, may continue to apply, it “cannot be considered” that a person who is no longer an EU citizen will continue to have unrestricted rights to EU benefits unless specific provisions are made.
It also predicts these issues will take much longer than the two-year timeframe given after triggering Article 50.