Nearly half of EU citizens living in the UK fear that their rights will not be well respected and that they will not be treated like Britons in the future. This is evidenced by a study conducted by the Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), an organization that protects the rights of EU citizens, among others.
EU citizens will retain the same rights to live, work and access social security in the UK after Brexit and must register through the EU Settlement Scheme before June 30.
While the majority of the study’s 3,000 respondents from 27 countries feel they have been treated the same way Britons have so far, nearly half (44 percent) are not confident this will continue in the future. .
Catherine Chamberlain, director general of the IMA, said the survey showed that many Europeans do not trust the institutions. Moreover, one in two has not heard of his rights as a citizen. For example, only 48 percent are aware of mutual recognition of professional qualifications.
1 in 10 will leave the UK
One in ten participants (11 per cent) plans to leave the UK after 30 June 2021, when the application deadline expires. Reasons for this departure include distrust of the government, the feeling that the UK is a less welcoming country due to Brexit and concerns about losing rights.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 3.6 million EU citizens were living in the UK in 2019. However, by the end of March 2021, the Home Office had already received 5.6 million registration applications.
The IMA concludes that “public authorities must play a critical role in restoring confidence among European citizens”. In doing so, they should pay more attention to “vulnerable and marginalized” people.