Utrecht, are you ready for Brexit?

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Being fully engaged with all things Dutch, I was reading the website Rijksoverheid.nl to learn more about just what is going on in The Netherlands.

As the website tells us, Rijksoverheid.nl is the joint website of the 12 ministries in the Dutch government. The ministries are engaged in, among other things, making legislative proposals, rules and policy plans. We are informed about all their work on Rijksoverheid.nl. They regularly announce, for example, if any important legislative proposals have been sent to the House of Representatives. And if the law has been passed, they explain to their citizens what the law means to them.

In this case it was an interesting article about how UK  nationals are facing up to Brexit. Just how do they feel?

Rijksoverheid.nl feels that Britons in the Netherlands are very concerned about Brexit’s consequences according to a study by Kantar Public commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs among 1,419 Britons in the Netherlands.

Emmanuel Giel [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

More than 45,000 UK citizens in the Netherlands are very concerned about the consequences of Brexit for their personal lives. This showed that 89%are concerned by the consequences.

The UK respondents are particularly worried about their rights to continue working and living in the Netherlands at 88%

Other major concerns are:

Free travel within the EU 87%

Increased customs formalities 67%

Impact of leaving the Netherlands and then being able to remigrate again 61%

Dual nationality 55%

Pensions 50%

“It is understandable that the Brexit also brings great uncertainties for these people, I therefore continue to emphasize that the draft withdrawal agreement would be the best outcome for everyone. But in case of no-deal it is necessary that British citizens in the Netherlands know where they stand. I will be coming up with more information about this very soon.”

says the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Despite the major concerns, only 33% of UK citizens in the Netherlands say they have prepared for the Brexit.

Seven out of ten have not or have hardly prepared for the possible consequences of Brexit.

The vast majority want to stay in the Netherlands.

Four in five Britons are certain that they will continue to live, work or study in the Netherlands in the future.

15% of respondents indicate that this is likely to be done.

Six in ten Britons have lived in the Netherlands for more than five years, with the largest groups living in The Hague and Amsterdam.

Mixed relationships are relatively common: 40% of partners have Dutch nationality, while 38% of partners have British nationality.

Another 13% have another European nationality, and 9% have a different, non-European nationality.

Almost half are considering applying for Dutch nationality, and 10% are sure to do so.

The results of the study correspond in part to a study conducted by Kantar Public in the summer of 2018 among Dutch people living in the UK.

Of the more than 100,000 Dutch people living in the UK, 57% were worried about the consequences of the Brexit.

Here too, their concerns were very similar with worries about rights, future customs procedures, retention of pension and access to health care.

About 22% were actively preparing for the Brexit. About three-quarters were planning to continue to live and work in the UK.



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About the Author

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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