Response to Dutch Government’s announcement regarding UK nationals in the Netherlands in the event of no-deal Brexit.

The New Europeans Benelux Steering Group welcomes the announcement by the Dutch government that UK nationals living in the Netherlands before 29 March 2019 will retain existing rights to live, work and study in the Netherlands if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Chair of the Steering Group, Bart Roelofs, said

“the guarantee goes some way to reassure the 45,000 UK nationals in the Netherlands, but we also urge the Dutch government to announce that they support the EU Green Card scheme currently under consideration by the European Parliament”.

The scheme would ‘ring-fence’ the existing rights of UK nationals in the EU and EU nationals residing in the UK and grant the ‘five million’ special recognition for having acquired residency before Brexit. “Crucially, it would allow them to keep their freedom of movement”, said Roelofs.

Local co-ordinator for the Groningen chapter of New Europeans, Anna Yeadell-Moore, a UK citizen who has been living in the Netherlands for 20 years, said

“there is still a lot of uncertainty for the British community in the Netherlands, particularly on issues such as cross-border business and dual nationality, but we welcome the recent efforts by the Dutch Immigration Service to reach out to us”.

In Belgium, UK citizens are still waiting for clarity.

Although there has yet to be an official announcement in Luxembourg, in a recent interview Prime Minister Betel referred to UK citizens living in the country as ‘belonging to Luxembourg’.

UK citizen Chris Garratt, co-ordinator of the Luxembourg chapter of New Europeans, said

‘the Luxembourg government is making it clear they want to make it easy for UK citizens to stay’.

A sentiment apparently echoed by the German government. Brigitte Richter a German citizen living and working in Brussels and a New Europeans Steering Group member said that her government ‘appears to want to make it easy for UK citizens to stay in the event of a no deal’.

Roger Casale, Secretary General of New Europeans is championing the green card campaign and has received the backing of a substantial number of MEPs in the European Parliament.

He believes that,

“the EU green card should be issued to every EU27 citizen in the UK and UK citizens in the EU so that they can prove that they have the same rights to equal treatment as they had before Brexit.

For more information on the EU Green Card and to support the campaign, click here.

First published on The New Europeans.

Roger Casale

Founder, The New Europeans at The New Europeans
Roger Casale is the founder and CEO of New Europeans, an award-winning pro-European civil rights organisation based in Brussels and London. In 2017 he won the Financial Times Future of Britain Award for his proposal for a Green Card for Europe to ring-fence the rights and status of EU27 citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU post-Brexit. He has also won awards in France and Germany for his work as a civil rights activist, including the Schwarzkopf Europe Award with New Europeans and the CiDAN award for European citizenship and human rights. On 1 November 2018, New Europeans co-hosted a 25th-anniversary commemoration of the coming into effect of the Maastricht Treaty in the Limburg Provincial Government Building where the original treaty was signed.Before starting New Europeans in 2013, Roger worked in the industry for the Italian multi-national companies Leonardo and Telespazio/VEGA. From 1997-2005 he was a Member of Parliament for the seat of Wimbledon. He was the first Labour MP to represent the seat since 1945. He served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Foreign Office between 2002 and 2005 and was on the original steering group for the Apfeldoorn conference, a high-level bi-lateral conference bringing together British and Dutch participants from the politics, academics, business and the media. Roger lives in Italy and travels extensively in Europe for speaking engagements and to develop the New Europeans network. In 2009 he was made a Commander of the Italian Republic by President Giorgio Napolitano.