British Alzheimer’s patient faces deportation from Sweden

Kathleen Poole, 74, has lived in the same care home, which now provides 24-hour care, for ten years. A woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is bedridden. Yet he is now at risk of deportation from the country by Swedish authorities.

Poole is from the English community of Macclesfield but moved to Sweden 19 years ago because his family lived there. He applied for a residence permit before December 2021; Timeline of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement signed in the context of Brexit. However, Poole’s application was rejected because the woman did not have a valid British passport. His family says it is not necessary because of his health.

Poole’s daughter-in-law told the BBC she had sent six doctors’ certificates and several personal letters of explanation to the Swedish authorities, but to no avail. “They said, ‘I’m sorry, you have to leave the country’. They wanted us to book her a flight to England, but we refused. To want to deport a sick person like that and to separate her from her family is humiliating.”

British MP Hilary Benn has called on British Foreign Secretary James Wise to intervene in the matter. He calls it “heartless” and “inexplicable” that Sweden plans to deport a vulnerable elderly woman. “This is a clear breach of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement which protects citizens’ rights,” Penn said.

‘Highly Technical Explanation’

The family receives support from the Europe Group, an association representing the interests of British citizens in Europe. The organization contacted the European Commission regarding the matter.

“This is typical of Sweden’s overly technical interpretation of the withdrawal agreement,” said David Milstedt, a Briton at the Sweden Group. “At the same time, they appear to be ignoring important safeguards in the agreement to ensure that people like Ms Poole are not deported. Ms Poole’s case is not unique: many people who have lived in the country for a long time have been forced to leave.

Commenting on Poole’s case, Swedish Immigration Minister Maria Malmar Stenergaard said: “Decisions on residence applications are directly applied by Swedish government bodies and courts in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK. As stated in the constitution, Sweden cannot interfere or comment on the individual decisions of these independent government bodies. The government is not allowed in. I am informed that the Swedish immigration agency is in contact with the family to obtain more information regarding the case in question.

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