Share article:
Share article:

UK behaving like ‘enemy state’ towards EU citizens

© Heathrow Airport

The UK is behaving like an ‘enemy state’ towards EU citizens trying to enter the country perfectly legally, according to the Guardian.

The newspaper has been collecting testimony from people who have suffered at the hands of the UK Border Force, which polices posts of entry, and concludes that confusion reigns within the force as to the exact content of the regulations.

One man, a German IT consultant, was detained at Heathrow airport despite being legally resident in the UK with settled status, indefinite leave to remain. He is also waiting for his British passport to be delivered.

Nonetheless, his established rights were wiped out with one stroke of the Border Force officer’s pen.

The man now intends to remain in Germany and not return to the UK until his passport arrives.

I pay a large amount of tax there, I have never used the health service, I contribute to the economy, I own property there. London is my favourite city in the world, but I have no documents to show I can stay there,” he said.

The British government has rejected a proposal to issue EU citizens a residency card to show when required – something similar to the card the Belgian government intends to issue to UK nationals resident here.

In theory, settled status is open to citizens of an EU or EEA member state, as well as Switzerland, and means that the individual has the right to live, work, and remain indefinitely, free of immigration control. It also means that the holder can access public funds (e.g. benefits), and after 12 months, apply for British citizenship.

Related News

 

In another case, a Spanish airline worker was detained at Gatwick while Border Force officers tried to work out whether he was lying about his pre-settled status. The reason his passport did not show that status was because he applied using his identity card, but he was told ID cards are no longer acceptable at the border.

He was finally allowed through when he showed his airline ID and his flight plan.

Because of my job I have flown to many destinations and I have been through border controls in different countries. I felt I had landed in some random enemy state,” he said.

This is the first time I felt intimidated by a police officer asking me questions just for being a foreigner living in the UK.

One Labour MP, Hilary Benn, said the cases appearing thus far demonstrate what could be the fate of the 4.9 EU nationals currently resident in the UK with settled or pre-settled status, should they decide to travel to their homeland and return afterwards.

It’s worrying to hear of these incidents happening. The Home Office needs to make sure that all Border Force staff are fully trained in applying the new rules.”

EU citizens are our friends and neighbours and we want them to stay in the UK, which is why we launched our ground-breaking EU Settlement Scheme,” a spokesperson for the Home Office said.

Those who do not have status under the EUSS can enter the UK for up to six months as visitors, visa free. However, now freedom of movement has ended, those coming to work or study must prove they meet our entry requirements. We urge people to check the requirements before travelling.”

The UK deadline for applying for settled or pre-settled status is 30 June this year. The Home Office still has an estimated 320,000 applications to process.

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...