Business consultant Alex Antoni, who has lived in the UK for 18 years, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One why he was considering becoming a British citizen.
He said he wanted clarity on his future post-2019 as new Home Office figures showed a near-record number of EU nationals being granted British citizenship in 2016.
Mr Antoni said: “I’ve been in the country 18 years and I am considering applying for British citizenship. I am married, I’ve got a British wife, I’ve got two beautiful British children.
“I’ve never considered taking a British passport or becoming British because it wasn’t necessary but with Brexit and with the uncertainty and with us now being negotiated alongside cows from Sunderland and tomatoes and lettuces from Spain, I want to secure my life here – where home is – post-2019.”
The radio guest slammed the Government over its handling of Brexit
With Brexit and with the uncertainty and with us now being negotiated alongside cows from Sunderland and tomatoes and lettuces from Spain, I want to secure my life here
The assurances that had been made so far were merely “warm words” and feared for his situation after leaving the jurisdiction of EU laws.
“At the moment it’s a lot of warm words saying ‘yes we want this’ but at the moment we’re protected through EU law and our rights are protected through EU law,” said Mr Antoni.
“Once we exit, we are only protected by UK law and it will put us on par with non-EU immigrants currently.
“I am worried about more than just the right to stay here and the right to work. It’s actually about what happens to me should I fall ill or should I become disabled, or what happens to my pension post-2019.”
BORDER-FREE Schengen: Countries you can visit WITHOUT a passport Mon, January 23, 2017
If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another. The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders.
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Theresa May has been called on to give further assurances to EU nationals in the UK
The man said he was “hurting” following the fallout from the EU referendum result, especially on social media, and said people had told him he was only in the UK because “we’re granting you the right”.
“[It] is hurting after 18 years of being part of the society,” he added.
The interview comes as figures showed citizenship was given to 16,754 EU nationals last year, the second highest since records began.
It comes behind the 17,645 that became UK citizens in 2013.