As the UK reaches the end of the transition period in December this year, European Union (EU) employers anticipate the end of free movement rights which allows British nationals to live, work and study in Europe.
UK MP’s have been told that Britons living in different parts of Europe are increasingly being refused job interviews due to their loss of free movement rights after Brexit.
‘British in Europe’, an umbrella organisation representing the 1.2 million Britons living in Europe, said the loss of rights was “already real” for many people living abroad.
Kalba Meadows, an organisation member who lives in France, told the EU Future Relationship Select Committee: “We are seeing people refused interviews for jobs because those jobs require the freedom to travel across the EU. We’re not even at the end of transition yet and there are already real live instances of people’s lives and livelihoods being affected – and that will only increase. So many jobs rely on free movement because of the single market.
“We have a very large number of people whose livelihood is based on working in different countries – people with small businesses, people who are employed, and an awful lot of them face losing our livelihoods. It’s not just about losing your rights on paper, it’s something that affects real lives.”
Michael Harris, another member who lives in Spain, told MPs: “There’s a stereotype of a Briton who lives in Spain – there are a lot of retired people in Spain who won’t be affected by the need to go and work or provide cross-border services, but around 60 per cent of Britons in Spain are working-age or below. Young Britons in the EU are the people who are going to be most affected by this – to go and study and work.”
Negotiating a future relationship, the UK and the EU, both have always said they will cover immigration issues.
But political pressure in the UK has led the Boris Johnson government ruling out a continuation of free movement.
Neither side’s draft agreement includes provisions for free movement rights and the UK’s draft immigration bill contains no provisions for such policies.
Also Read – US Buys Up World Stock of Key Covid-19 Drug