EU expats being exploited in Brexit ‘human poker’

Leaders from both the CBI and TUC have issued a statement declaring their position of expats right to work in the UK after Brexit. The CBI and TUC described the situation as a ‘blight on UK values’.

EU expats in the UK
Business owners and trade unions have come together to issue an appeal to both sides in the Brexit negotiations to resolve “within weeks” the issue of the rights of EU expats in the UK and Britons living on the continent.

CBI and TUC concerned for expats in Brexit negotiations

The joint statement from the leaders of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) says the three million-plus EU nationals in the UK and the one million-plus Britons in the EU have been caught up in intolerable round of “human poker”.EU negotiators have made resolution of the status of expats a priority in Brexit talks but the two sides have reached a stalemate over demands from Brussels that EU nationals in Britain should remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice once the UK has left the bloc.Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, and Frances O’Grady, TUC secretary general, stated, “After 15 months of human poker, the uncertainty facing four million European and UK citizens has become intolerable.“It is a blight on the values of our nations. Millions of workers and thousands of firms are today united in their call to leaders on both sides to find an urgent solution. A clear guarantee of the right to remain for citizens in both the UK and EU27 is needed within weeks.“EU citizens account for 10 per cent of registered doctors and 4 per cent of registered nurses across the UK. Millions more work in the public and private sectors delivering public services and making a vital contribution to our economy.“They need to hear that they will be allowed to remain in the UK, whatever the eventual outcome of negotiations. Not only is this important for our economy, it is the right thing to do.“Once agreed, this guarantee must be implemented independently of the rest of the negotiations to avoid the risk that ‘no deal’ in March 2019 leads to uncertainty and heartache for millions of people.”

UK government concession

It was revealed earlier in the week that the UK government had made a concession under which EU citizens settled in the UK would no longer be stripped of their rights to permanent residency if they move abroad post-Brexit for more than two years, for example for work or to look after a sick relative.The campaign group British in Europe said in a statement that it was “delighted” with the British move and is now urging EU negotiators to reciprocate.
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Britons living in remaining EU states have expressed fear that the loss of free movement rights would mean they would be “locked in” to their adopted nations, preventing them from returning to Britain for a period of more than two years, or unable to retire to another EU country without going through immigration procedures for third-country nationals.“We are delighted to hear that the UK government has shown the flexibility that we asked for on free movement and has offered guaranteed rights of return to EU citizens in the UK with the hope that the EU will respond with onward rights of free movement for UK citizens in the EU,” said Jane Golding, who chairs British in Europe.
Read David Sapsted's article on Brexit: The great relocation battle – which discusses the tussle for European agencies relocating post-Brexit – in the Autumn 2017 issue of Relocate Magazine.
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