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.