Politics, World

1 in 10 EU nationals thinking of leaving UK: Survey

Reasons include feeling Britain has become less welcoming post-Brexit, and lack of faith in government

Karim El-Bar   | 13.05.2021
1 in 10 EU nationals thinking of leaving UK: Survey

LONDON

A new survey released on Thursday found that one in 10 EU nationals in Britain are thinking of leaving the UK after June 30.

The survey was carried out by the Independent Monitoring Authority for Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA), an organization set up under the EU withdrawal agreement to protect EU citizens’ rights to live and work in the UK, as well as their access to public services such as healthcare.

June 30 is the deadline for EU nationals to apply for “settled status,” which is the right to legally remain in the UK after Brexit.

German, French, and Spanish male nationals, aged 45-74, in the northeast and southeast of England, who earned over £50,000 were the most likely to say they would leave.

Their reasons included feeling Britain had become less welcoming post-Brexit, and a lack of faith in the British government protecting their rights.

One response to the survey included an EU national saying they were afraid that “the government would start treating us like second-class citizens.”

“We undertook our first survey because we were keen to understand the experience of EU citizens living in the UK and Gibraltar since Brexit," said IMA chief executive Kathryn Chamberlain.

“It’s clear that there are issues of trust for EU citizens ... there is a real need for public authorities of all types to take action to build this trust through their actions and by also recognising the role they play in promoting citizens’ rights in legislation, policy and practice."

Latest figures by the UK Home Office showed that 5.42 million people have applied for settled status, but as of April 30 there was still a backlog of 300,000 applications.

On the other hand, Norwegian, Lithuanian and Portuguese female nationals, aged 16-24, in Wales, who earn less than £30,000 a year, were the least likely to say they would leave.

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