The Dutch MEP wants to ensure that the EU nationals receive a fair deal
Sophie in ‘t Veld, the Dutch MEP for the social liberal party, is planning on forming a cross-party task-force to examine cases where EU nationals have been unable to secure their future in the UK, according to the Guardian.
Last year, it was revealed that Dutch national Monique Hawkins, who had lived in Britain for 24 years, received a letter from the Home Office advising her to “prepare to leave the country” when she did not have the correct documents in her residency application.
Besides living in the country for a quarter of the century, she is married to a British man with whom she has two children.
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People feel they are being harassed
Sophie in ‘t Veld
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The Government’s response not only denied her permanent residency but also failed to acknowledge the fact she had lived in the country for the past 24 years.
The letter read: “As you appear to have no alternative basis of stay in the United Kingdom you should now make arrangements to leave.”
The Dutch politician is set to request that the European parliament’s committee on civil liberties ensures a representative of the British Government comes to Brussels to speak up for the EU nationals who have felt unfairly treated by the country.
Theresa May has said that the issue of EU nationals staying in the UK after Brexit will be discussed after Article 50 is triggered.
There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of applicants from EU states seeking permanent residency since the Brexit vote on June 23.
Ms In’t Veld said: “People feel they are being harassed.
“Why is the British Government trying to make it so hard for people who have been living in the UK for decades, who have set up a family there, work there? It is their home.
Lobbyists want the rights of residence of EU citizens to be guaranteed
“What sort of signal are they trying to send out to these people? I am not aware of UK nationals trying to apply for citizenship elsewhere in the EU running into these kind bureaucratic walls. I am not saying it doesn’t exist but I have not heard of it yet. I can only suppose other countries are a bit more welcoming and facilitating.”
A group called ‘the3million’ has been set up in the wake of the Brexit vote as a mass lobby to guarantee the rights of residence of EU citizens.
The name comes from the estimated number of EU citizens who moved from another member state and live and work in the UK.
Following the referendum, communities of non-British EU citizens have been concerned about their right to live in Britain.
The Dutch politician added: “Once Article 50 has been triggered, and negotiations have started, I want to have a task-force inside the European parliament that citizens can contact directly so that we can have a clear idea of the difficulties people are facing and try to help.
“Brexit will be partly a technical negotiation, but ultimately it is about people. The consequence cannot be that millions of people are penalised.”