Brexit exodus! Large proportion of EU citizens plan to leave unrecognisable UK

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A new study by the University of Strathclyde’s found that 58.62 percent of EU respondents living in the UK believe that Brexit increased the likelihood of them leaving the UK.

On average, respondents had lived in the UK for almost 19 years, and 82.2 percent live in England.

The respondents felt unrepresented in the UK society, with 58 percent of them thinking non-British citizens with settled status or indefinite leave to remain should be allowed to vote in general elections.

One respondent said: “This was firmly my forever country.

“Now, much less so, not just Brexit although that is the main driver, but [also the] Tory government, corruption, hostile environment, rising inequality, reduced public spending.”

Another told the University’s researchers: “I think without Brexit we would probably be more likely to be migrating within Europe. Due to Brexit this is much more complicated than before for my British husband.”

“It doesn’t feel great when you give everything to the country that doesn’t respect you,” one of the EU citizens was recorded as saying, while another admitted that Brexit “changed my love for and view of the UK fundamentally”.

They added: “Since the referendum campaign, this country is unrecognisable to me.”

The survey was conducted between 15 February and 15 March 2021.

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It was designed for adult EU/EEA/Swiss nationals or dual British-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who acquired British nationality through registration or naturalisation who normally live in the UK and arrived here before 31 December 2020.

The total number of respondents was 2,424, of which 1,464 have received settled status and 377 have British citizenship.

The majority of respondents (1,993) live in England.

HMRC has encouraged employers to push their eligible employees to make late applications for the EU Settlement Scheme last week, even as the June deadline has long since passed.

European workers who apply for this scheme can receive access to various UK state benefits, pensions and NHS services.

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EU Settlement Scheme rules allow European claimants to apply for settled or pre-settled status, both of which grant access to UK state benefits, pensions and NHS services.

Eligible claimants had to finalise their claims by June 30 but following unprecedented last minute demand, the Government allowed late claims to be processed so long as there were acceptable mitigating circumstances.

Last week, HMRC released its latest Employer Bulletin for August 2021.

Within this bulletin, HMRC encouraged further late claims.

HMRC said: “If any of your employees have not yet applied, you may wish to encourage them to apply for valid immigration status as soon as possible.

“Late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme may be accepted where there are reasonable grounds. Eligible employees should apply online.”

This followed similar calls from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

On July 1, the DWP urged claimants to act even where they may have missed the deadline.

The DWP detailed: “EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members can make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

“You must apply as soon as possible. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.”

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