Status Anxiety. The 6 million people at the heart of Brexit

Around 6 million people – EU nationals living in the UK and Britons leaving elsewhere in the EU – face an uncertain and confusing future. [Shutterstock]

While EU and UK negotiators are still deadlocked over a Brexit deal, and the UK just weeks from leaving the bloc, it is easy to ignore the human cost of Brexit, deal or no deal. Around 6 million people – EU nationals living in the UK and Britons leaving elsewhere in the EU – face an uncertain and confusing future.

Although both sides have promised to safeguard their rights in a no deal scenario, there are many unanswered questions around healthcare and pensions.

With migration control having been one of the key drivers of the vote to leave the EU, many Europeans in the UK fear that they will become unwelcome in the country and face the so-called ‘toxic environment’ themselves.

This Special Report looks at some of the questions facing EU nationals living in the UK and their UK counterparts, and whether these 6 million Europeans will be victims of the political chaos.

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  • In search of Brexit reciprocity

    News | Brexit 22-10-2019

    When the Belgian government assured British expatriates that they could stay in place and work without a permit in the event of a no-deal Brexit until 2020, the twenty-five thousand Belgian and British citizens who currently live and work in each others’ countries breathed a sigh of relief.

  • Brexit – Raising awareness for hidden Europeans

    News | Justice & Home Affairs 22-10-2019

    Raising awareness of the need for EU citizens in the UK to apply for EU Settled Status is one of the main challenges facing the UK government and activists. And it’s proving to be harder than many in the government expected.

  • No escape from the hostile environment

    Opinion | Brexit 16-10-2019

    The UK's offer of settled status to EU citizens may have seemed like a change of tack in its migration policy but there are many causes for anxiety, writes Roger Casale.

  • Life in Bulgaria, after Brexit – a ‘no-brainer’ for expats

    News | Brexit 15-10-2019

    The village of Radyuvene is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of UK urban life. But it is home to Beynon and Sue Darley, who swapped Guildford, a town 40 km south of London,  for a rambling cottage in rural central Bulgaria.

  • Brexit causes status anxiety among EU nationals in the UK

    News | Brexit 14-10-2019

    The negotiations on a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement have been painfully slow and often rancorous, but ministers have always insisted that the rights of EU nationals living in the UK will be protected. But despite all pledges, including from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there is continuing anxiety on all sides.

  • Pro Europa Protest Against Brexit

     Video | Brexit 17-10-2019

    Pro Europa organised an event protesting Brexit in the shadow of the ongoing EU Council Summit of October 17-18.

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