The University of Strathclyde and the Royal Society of Edinburgh have just published the results of a survey on British Citizens living in the EU/EEA and Switzerland after Brexit conducted by Prof. Tanja Bueltmann. She is of German origin and is now a dual UK-German national living in the UK who has researched extensively into migration.
As Liberal Democrats, we are taking note of the results of the survey. Many of the respondents did not feel represented in the British political system - and we’ve been arguing for many years for non-resident UK nationals to have a vote in the Westminster elections. It’s also notable to see the lack of trust in the British government recorded by the survey.
We’ve known for some time that most British citizens in Europe have moved for work reasons, and the survey supports this finding. It’s true that there are many who moved for retirement, but these are a minority (only 17% indicated this in the survey).
One of the significant issues identified is the challenges in bringing family members back to the UK. This used to be a simple process before Brexit - at least when partners had an EU citizenship. It is now much more complicated, and the current “hostile environment” does not help.
Over the next few months, the Liberal Democrats in Europe with members of the party in parliament will be working to try and identify remedies for systematic problems as well as supporting our fellow citizens in individual cases.