UNITED KINGDOM: According to statistics from the EU’s statistical office, more than 2,250 British citizens received orders to leave EU member states between the conclusion of the Brexit transition period and September of last year.
A total of 2,285 UK citizens were expulsed from the first quarter of the year 2021, when British citizens lost their right to free movement within the EU, to the third quarter of the year, according to quarterly figures published by Eurostat late last month.
The findings serve as “the starkest possible reminder” of the effects of Brexit, according to experts, who noted that since the data did not identify why people were forced to leave, not all expulsions may not have been due to residency requirements.
The Local was the first to report on the Eurostat statistics, which revealed stark differences between EU member states. Sweden accounted for nearly half (1,050) of all British citizens asked to leave during that time, while the Netherlands made up about a third (615).
115 UK citizens were ordered to leave Malta’s territory, as were 95 in France, 65 in Belgium, 40 in Denmark, 25 in Germany, and 10 in Austria. However, certain nations with sizable populations of Britons, such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy, did not issue any expulsion orders.
According to Benson, the contrasts most likely reflected variations in domestic immigration, registration, recording, and reporting policies. She stated that “Denmark obviously has a notoriously tough approach to all immigration.”
Even for EU citizens, Sweden and the Netherlands have unusually strict registration procedures, whereas Spain is known to have requested some UK citizens to leave but appears to have kept quiet about it.
Although there were “worryingly high” numbers of orders to leave in some nations, according to Jane Golding, co-chair of the British in Europe group, the data did not distinguish between those who arrived after December 2020 and those who were residents before, who should, in theory, have rights under the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
According to Benson, some of those who were asked to leave might have “accidentally” ended up in EU member states as a result of COVID lockdowns, while others might have been the subject of judicial orders, such as after committing crimes.
In accordance with the terms of the separation agreement, UK residents who were legitimately residing in one of the EU’s 27 member states on December 31, 2020, were qualified for permanent residence, safeguarding their fundamental rights.
With no fear of losing rights if any administrative date is missed, 14 nations, including Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Italy, chose systems that immediately granted a new post-Brexit residence status to lawfully residing Britons.
However, the remaining 13 mandated formal applications for new post-Brexit residence status from UK citizens, with many establishing deadlines.
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