Jeff ponders walks and the future of Frenchie dogs outside the EU
Now, I’ve heard a bit about the EU lately. It seems that the UK has started to leave the EU and will leave by the end of March 2019. For people from other parts of the EU who live in the UK, and who may be employed by British companies or studying at UK universities, there are many questions. According to official statistics, in 2015, around 3.2 million people living in the UK were citizens of another EU country – about 5% of the UK population [see FullFact for more about these numbers]. The United Nations estimates that 1.2 million people born in the UK live in other EU countries, with Spain being the most popular European country for British people to move to.
Many people are worried about where they will be able to live and work after March 2019. Universities are reporting drops in student enrolments from overseas and newspapers elsewhere in the EU are reporting citizens leaving the UK to return home or to other EU member states. Stories are being shared of people from other EU countries applying for permanent residency in the UK and being denied. However, recent advice from the Home Office is that EU citizens should not apply for permanent residency but sign up for email alerts to keep up to date with news.
As I ponder these things, the Brexit negotiations have started and the issue of EU citizens is one of the first topics to discuss. In the European Parliament’s statement about progress so far the ongoing rights of EU citizens in the UK – as well as the rights of British citizens in the EU – is given a high priority. But no agreement has been reached yet.
As for me, I’m also worried. I’m a Frenchie after all! Where will I belong after Brexit? Will I need a more complicated pet passport for my holidays?
Woof, it’s all so confusing.