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Brexit: EU nationals express panic after Government ‘alters residency rules’

EU citizens living in the UK have expressed panic and confusion after it was alleged that Government regulations will allow the Home Office to remove some of them from the country if they do not have a comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI).

A briefing published by a barrister specialising in immigration law claims that the Home Office acquired controversial new enforcement powers against EU citizens from 1 February.

It warns those EU citizens who are not considered to have a “right of residence”, including some students and spouses of UK citizens, and who do not have CSI, could be deported or refused entry back into the UK if they leave. The majority of EU nationals living in the UK are entitled to use the NHS, meaning many do not have the insurance.

A Home Office spokesperson told The Independent: “It is completely wrong to say that we have new powers to deport EU citizens without comprehensive sickness insurance. EU citizens will not be removed from the UK or refused entry solely because they do not have this insurance.

“Their right to remain will remain unchanged while we are a member of the European Union and they do not need any additional documents to prove their status.”

But the briefing, published on the website ‘Free Movement’ which offers updates and advice on UK immigration and asylum law, nonetheless provoked a wave of panic from European nationals residing in the UK. Dozens of people posted comments on a link to the article shared on a Facebook page for the campaign group the3million.

“I’m scared,” one person said simply, while another expressed confusion, saying: “It raises more questions than answers.”

Among those expressing concern were a number of European mature students studying in the UK, as well as spouses of British citizens who are not in work – all of whom are at risk of being removed from the country under the new regulations.

Speaking to The Independent, Sylvia Gawron, a Polish national who studied at Dundee University and has just finished a PhD, said: “Throughout my time as a student I was not aware of the requirement for CSI. I’ve just been told to go and register with the nearest GP by the university. (full article: independent.co.uk)

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  1. If they do that it could mean it will be reciprocal although the EU has already floated the option that British expats could choose to become EU citizens, whatever that is. Don’t expect, though, that the British measures will go down well with other EU countries. Pretty much of the continent is fed up with the pompous British attitude and the way they look down on the continent (as if they are not part of it). And about their whining about the contribution to the EU while they get a fat rebate.

    • The EU has floated no such option. Some fool in the European Parliament mentioned it: there has been no interest from EU governments. The situation is very nasty indeed and could result in the break-up of the EU alongside irreparable damage to the UK.
      This is what happens when the extreme right gets anywhere near to power. They damage people’s lives, countries, and civilisation itself. The far right has been running the UK for the last decade or so — and look at the result. Poverty, violence, and a gaggle of corrupt billionaires living it up in London. Vomit-inducing.

      • I didn’t know the BNP was governing the UK because that is what I think about when somebody says the far or extreme right is running the UK. Not that I like the Torries. But the rot set in with Tony Blair who betrayed his electorate, favored the City and who started, along with his buddy Bush, the cluster f*ck that is MENA now.
        The EU hangs in the balance. Juncker gets nervous and is now proposing ideas to reach out to the ordinary European. A little too late I think. They were all so busy with themselves that they forgot that they should work in the interest of the ordinary European.
        As long as Le Pen does not win in France (I don’t think she will win) then the EU will remain intact, for the time being.
        Despite what Germany says, they secretly like Brexit because it means less opposition to them. The French also like it because they will get a stronger role now. The German-French axis might get stronger although there isn’t much love lost there either. Poland and central Europe might get to play a stronger role too. Germany has to make compromises. Eastern Europe remains the mess it is now (In the meanwhile a situation is developing north of Greece in a little country, that some don’t call a country, called FYROM or Macedonia).

        The UK might pull the Brexit off as long as they stay more competitive compared to the EU and as long as they can get the world to come to Britain to do business. They will need to get closer to the US that is currently hard on its way to compete themselves out of the world’s economy now they say that the WTO does not apply to them.
        Interesting (but hard) times ahead.

        • Theresa May is far right. Her policies, her actions, her hostility to democratic and legal process are openly fascist in intent. The BNP would actually be less of a problem, because they are too incompetent even to find their way to the House of Commons.
          There is no comparison with Blair (who betrayed the values of the Labour Party) because he is nothing other than centre Right — similar to Thatcher, with some slightly less abrasive ideas. The appointment of May without a General Election amounts to a putsch by the far right in British politics.

  2. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Cool, Greece needs talented people, invite’em to family