On April 21st, one of our councillor candidates, Francisca Oxley, was invited with two colleagues to present to a Dutch parliamentary committee about Brexit. This was a good opportunity to push for EU citizens rights after Brexit via a local EU27 government.
Francisca says: “There was very limited time to drive home some key points, so we decided to start our session with a video about dual nationality. We discussed why becoming British without losing Dutch nationality is so important now with Brexit. If you want to watch the video, you can see it here (2.5 minutes).
The second part of the meeting was spent on explaining the difficulties with citizens’ rights (both for EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU). The Windrush scandal (which has also been reported in the Dutch news) served to illustrate that there is no trust in the Home Office for good reason!
Francisca continues: “We mentioned groups that are in danger of falling through the cracks (think of housewives, carers, children turning adult during the Brexit process). Even though the home office promises to be generous and light touch, the Windrush scandal shows EU citizens need more than promises. We also discussed the fact that a five year limit on the right of return is not enough. It would make studying in Europe and then taking a first job abroad very difficult! We highlighted that EU citizens in Britain have mixed families. They could lose their Settled Status and have to try to get some sort of visa from scratch. This would reduce EU-UK families to Skype Families (as already is happening with non-EU people). We asked the Dutch government to not forget the citizens’ rights among the trade deals and other agreements.
We ended by asking for support for Dutch nationals returning to the Netherlands after Brexit. If you are interested or want to practise your Dutch you can read the position paper here (fifth paper down the end).