With a no-deal Brexit becoming more and more likely, EU citizens living in the UK are worried about the end to freedom of movement and its implications for future travels on Tuesday August 20th according to British newspaper the Guardian
Plans currently under discussion to end freedom of movement for EU citizens immediately after a no-deal Brexit, have caused anxiety and confusion among European nationals in the UK, with concerns growing that they could be caught up in ‘hostile environment’ policies.
At the moment, no adequate system is in place to distinguish between EU nationals, who have lived, worked and contributed in the UK for years, and those, who have arrived recently.
This situation caused many to worry about how they would be able to prove they have resided in the UK legally, once they leave for travel of any sort and try to re-enter the country upon their return.
In theory, the rights of EU citizens who have permanent residence in the UK should not be affected and they will continue to be allowed to apply for ‘settled status’ after 5 years of living there, or ‘pre-settled status’ before reaching the 5 years, until the end of December 2020.
But Downing Street has confirmed that rules allowing EU nationals to live and work freely in the UK would end abruptly if the UK leaves the bloc without an agreement at the end of October.
For those, who have lived in the UK for a while it is no longer guaranteed they will have a right to treatment under the National Health Service and might find their right to employment being questioned. Many are wondering how they will be able to prove they have the right to live in the UK if they travel abroad.
The3million, which is an organisation representing EU nationals in the UK, spoke to the Guardian and said plans by Home Secretary Priti Patel to impose new border restrictions overnight on October 31st if Britain leaves in a no-deal scenario were “reckless”.
Nicolas Hatton, a co-founder of the group, explained: “Ending freedom of movement without putting legal provisions in place for those EU citizens who have not yet successfully applied through the settlement scheme will mean that millions of lawful citizens will have their legal status removed overnight.”