Groups representing British nationals living throughout Europe have blasted the government for ignoring them over Brexit and refute claims that officials have been in touch about their rights.
Members of the lobbying group Expat Citizen Rights in EU (Ecreu) say they’ve been totally ignored by the British government, which claims to have “engaged with expatriate groups” about their post-Brexit rights.
In a policy paper from last month about exiting the EU, the government said that securing the status of UK nationals in the EU was “an early priority”.
“To this end, we have engaged a range of stakeholders, including expatriate groups, to ensure we understand the priorities of UK nationals living in EU countries.”
Not so, says Dave Spokes, a founder of Ecreu, which represents Brits living in 25 EU countries including France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and Austria,
He told British newspaper The Guardian that neither his group nor any of the 12 similar groups in his coalition “have ever been consulted”.
“It does appear that in signing the white paper and presenting it to MPs, the prime minister and Mr Davies have misled parliament,” he said, referring to Brexit secretary David Davis.
The coalition, thought to be the biggest of its kind in Europe with over 32,000 members.
The website says that 66 percent of the group’s members are retired.
Their chief concerns are healthcare, pensions, travel, exchange rates, and home ownership.