British expats ‘left out in the cold’ after Brexit amid France citizenship ‘heartbreak’

British expats ‘left out in the cold’ by UK Government says expert

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British residents living in the EU have spoken out over changes to their way of life following Brexit. In France, the campaign group BritsAbroad has begun to organise to draw attention to the plight of British nationals living in the bloc. The organisation’s European coordinator Terence Knott has described hearing “heartbreaking” tales from fellow British nationals who are struggling with post Brexit changes, he also blasted the UK Government for not doing enough to help Brits living in the European Union.

Mr Knott told France 24: “It seems to us that the British Government has left us out in the cold for the last four, five years.

“We are now reaping the uncertain benefits of that.”

He explained: “We have lost our freedom of movement.

“If I want to go over the border into Italy for a holiday, for a day, I have to show my passport.

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“We have lost the rights to study and to research.

“Professional qualifications are no longer recognised.

Mr Knott added: “We have got people now stuck at home because they cannot drive.

“Their British driving licence has expired and the British Government has done nothing to help sort that out.” 

EU 'using expats to punish UK for Brexit' says expert

The campaigner said: “People are literally having to ask others to collect their shopping for them because they can’t legally drive.

“We have done a survey recently of about 500 people and the saga of woe and despondency is literally heartbreaking.”

Citizenship rights have been a point of tension following the end of the Brexit transition period with some Brexiteers arguing Brussels had one enough the protect the rights of UK nationals.

Senior Research Executive at Get Britain Out, Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie told Express.co.uk: “In reality, it comes down to a degree of lazy behaviour from the European Union and a vindictive approach to try and punish the UK on any front.

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“Whereas of course, the UK wanted to have a much more welcoming and a relationship based on friends and partners as Boris Johnson would like to say but clearly the European Union isn’t the same.”

Mr Mackenzie-Lawrie also highlighted the fact that the UK had been quicker to organise a new post-Brexit residency framework.

He told Express.co.uk: “Fundamentally we also got our stuff together sooner.

“We got ourselves organised, it was a good two-three years ago that we started allowing people to start applying for the right to remain.”

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