Tuesday 20 December 2016

Brussels To Block Citizenship For British Expats Following Brexit


Prime Minister Charles Michel has rejected the option to create an exception to Belgian nationality rules for Britons after the UK leaves the EU.

Brits living in Belgium on a diplomatic ID card who are looking for nationality won’t necessarily be able to acquire it after article 50 is triggered.

Prime Minister Michel’s admission was seen by Politico on an internal European Parliament email.

Currently, British citizens are allowed to reside in Belgium as part of EU rules on freedom of movement.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently says while British passports are valid in Belgium without a visa, those who "intend to work or remain in Belgium for more than three months" must apply for a residency permit.

EU nationals who have been living in Belgium for an uninterrupted period of five years are automatically granted citizenship.

Those who haven’t been there for that length of time are free to stay indefinitely using a permanent residency card.

But these rules could change once the UK leaves the EU.

Yesterday Theresa May urged European leaders to reach an early agreement on what Brexit means for Britons living in EU countries, as well as for those across the Brussels bloc living in the UK.

The Prime Minister attended a European Council meeting in Brussels to update EU leaders on the UK’s plans to leave the crumbling bloc.

Prime Minster May refused to reveal details of her discussions as she left the summit but Irish leader Enda Kenny revealed the Tory’s position.

Taoiseach Mr Kenny said: "She would like to have the question of UK citizens living in Europe and European citizens living in the UK dealt with in the early part of discussions that take place."

And European Council President Donald Tusk said the “short, informal meeting” had "reconfirmed our principles, meaning the indivisibility of the four freedoms, the balance of rights and obligations and the rule 'no negotiations without notification'".

But Mrs May was excluded from talks with fellow EU leaders last night.

She welcomed the 27 meeting without her, adding: "It's right that the other leaders prepare for those negotiations as we have been preparing."

Britain’s leader has been set a deadline of March 31 2017 to invoke Article 50.

A two-year window would begin after the article is triggered, which allows passports and visas to operate under existing rules.

An estimated 3.3 million EU nationals live in Britain, while 1.2 million Britons live across the other 27 member states of the EU.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.