New Europeans Benelux welcomes the decision taken by the Luxembourg government to clarify the situation for UK citizens living in the country.
If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, British citizens in Luxembourg will have a year to apply for permanent residence.
Bart Roelofs, Chair of the New Europeans Benelux Steering Group, hopes the announcement by Prime Minister Bettel and Foreign Minister Asselborn will provide some reassurance for the some 6,000 Brits living and working in Luxembourg.
“It is great to see Luxembourg provide clarity for its British community. The next step is for the Luxembourg government to support the proposal for the EU Green Card currently under consideration by the European Parliament”, said Roelofs.
There is growing support for this scheme, an idea from New Europeans, an award-winning pro-European civil rights organization championing democracy and the rights of citizens in Europe. The EU Green Card would ‘ring-fence’ the existing rights of UK nationals in the EU and EU nationals residing in the UK.
Roger Casale, Secretary General of New Europeans explains that
“The Green Card would give EU27 citizens in the UK a physical proof of their status and mean that Britons in the EU could keep their right to freedom of movement in the EU.”
The statement from Luxembourg follows a similar announcement by the Dutch government confirming that Britons in the Netherlands will retain their right to live and work in the country in the worst-case scenario – the UK crashing out of Europe with ‘no-deal’.
Chris Garratt, one of Luxembourg’s many British long-term residents is relieved that Prime Minister Bettel has confirmed his right to stay:
“This is great news for me and my family. The lives of so many Britons on the continent are in limbo right now. With the current political mess back home, it’s easy to forget that fundamentally this is about people.”
Anna Yeadell from New Europeans Benelux agrees,
“Now is the time to reach out to the British people in our communities and let them know they are welcome and they are not alone. We call on the Belgium government to follow its Benelux partners and declare the right of UK citizens in Belgium to stay if there is a hard Brexit”.