As if the thought of Brexit was not enough with all the scare stories in the right wing British press, we now have the unhelpful news the Dutch immigration service IND website that warned on its Brexit information update that UK citizens in The Netherlands would see that their European permanent residency permits expire on March 29, 2019 when Brexit comes into effect.
Dozens of worried British nationals have since been contacting lawyers and community websites to try to find out where they stand. There is no point in them contacting the UK government because they haven’t a clue!
The IND website outlined the options which British nationals can take to regulate their post-Brexit stay. One option was to apply for the residence permit for EU nationals, which costs €51 and does not require an integration exam. However, the website continues: ‘keep in mind that the validity of an EU permanent residence document will expire permanently for you on 29 March 2019. After all, on that day British citizens are no longer EU citizens.’
News that the EU permanent residency permit will be invalid after Brexit has somehow shocked British nationals who are currently trying to regulate their stay.
I cannot understand why, as it was plain there would be change, but one view is that British nationals in the Netherlands will still be protected by European law. Though with the UK trying to get out of the European court of Justice as well, we don’t know how this will work either.
Some 45,000 adult British people live in the Netherlands and will need to have some form of permit to remain in the country after March 29 2019.
As EU citizens, they do not need any form of residency permit. But I wrote last month that almost four in ten British people living in the Netherlands have done nothing yet to regulate their stay post Brexit. Of those that had taken action, almost one in four had applied for a European residents permit and just a handful had gone down the more difficult route to get a regular residents’ permit.
France and Germany are both looking at what the status of British nationals living there would be after a no-deal Brexit. France says these would include Britons needing visas to visit and UK nationals resident in the country being in an ‘irregular’ legal situation.
The IND updated its website later to tell us that in the event of no deal, ‘it is still unclear what you can do’, but whatever happens after Brexit, the EU residency permit will expire, says the IND.
So where do Brits stand in The Netherlands post Brexit?
Deal or No Deal, it’s not a game anymore, though Tory MPs in the UK are treating it as such.
What can Brits do?
Who do they ask?
Does anyone in the UK government have a clue?