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UK government considering a “cut-off date” for EU citizens’ rights to residency (independent.co.uk)
126 points by jaoued on Feb 27, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 173 comments

OK, wait, this does not make sense. If half of Romania an Bulgaria wanted to come to the UK, they would already be there. Because free movement already exists.

Why would anyone decide now to "quickly move to the UK", just because they are leaving the EU? I would rather see this as a disincentive to move there, as a EU citicen, right now...

I agree. There already was a (failed) "Romanian invasion" several years ago. Furthermore, the recent events & decisions have given the UK, at leas in my immigrant eyes, a relative sense of insecurity. I would personally not relocate without knowing how the brexiters would react towards immigrants, regardless of the legality of their stay.

By the time the UK is done committing sepuku nobody will want to go there anyway. Their immigration problem will solve itself.

Because you're probably a high-paid professional (reasonable assumption for a HN user) and are not considering staying in the country illegally after you arrive.

Bulgarians have had all this time (10 years) to go live in the UK legally. Why would they suddenly rush to leave everything behind and go live there illegally? It doesn't make any sense.

Is this just straight up racism? What is special about these two specific countries that doesn't apply to any of the other ones in the EU?

Decades of tabloid news have convinced Britons that the UK is great place to live in spite of the UK having some of the poorest places in the northern EU.


Romania and Bulgaria are the last joiners to the EU (2007) (disregarding the much smaller Croatia) and the last two EU countries to be given the right to work in the UK without a work visa (2014) (don't know about Croatia in this respect).

Their citizens are perceived to be the least desirable EU citizens to have as immigrants.

Size of economy.

You are absolutly right, and few days ago there a proof for your theory - more people are leaving now UK than comming to leave here

That isn't true, net migration fell but it is still positive: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/23/net-migratio...

Why wouldn't they stay, legally or ilegally, in the equally rich Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Austria? All of which are closer to the origin countries than the UK.

Or why wouldn't they go in the slightly-less-richer, but culturally closer Spain or Italy? Especially since the weather is much nicer over there :)

As a British guy in Finland I can say that the reason many people moved to the UK was because of the perception of easy work, easy integration, and good practices.

Those things might exist in other countries, I don't know of them personally, but I do know that moving to Finland is non-trivial. The language is hard, and unless you speak it you've only got unskilled jobs to find - with high competition. Gaining residency pretty much necessitates having a job too, which makes it all a bit circular.

I'm settled here for the foreseeable future, although I have to wait another couple of years before I qualify for citizenship.

Actually, customer facing unskilled jobs are harder to get while only speaking English.

I could believe that; I was thinking of things like cleaning and seasonal work such as fruit-picking.

English language, maybe? Obviously a lot of those other countries have very high numbers of English speakers, but most good jobs still require you to speak the native language.

Why would "half a country" risk insecurity and (occasional) hostility from locals, to remain illegally in the UK, when there are quite a few other viable options within the EU?

You're confusing right to live with right to travel. You don't need the right to live in order to go to the UK and work illegally.

> Because you're probably a high-paid professional (reasonable assumption for a HN user)

But the article is not about people from hacker news, it's about any EU citizen.

Is this true?

Bulgaria and Romania are both EU countries, neither is Schengen.

How is the UK different in this regard?

The question is, do people from Romania and Bulgaria need a visa? Looks to me they can not just move to the UK but maybe the UK has different agreements with this countries.

Just checked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_requirements_for_Romanian...

Looks like they don't need anything but a passport to go to the UK.

No, Romanians can move to the UK for good with a Romanian ID. They don't need a passport. For those thinking about this now, it's decision time because as we now know, after March this won't be possible. 152,000 Romanians registered for UK National Insurance (NI) numbers in 2014/15

That's because of the EU citizenship, which allows the free movement of people. Obtaining a work permit might be a different thing, but I'm really just guessing here...

Pretty sure Romania is in Schengen. As someone that spends more than half the year in Romania I know I hear it mentioned a lot.

Actually, I am 100% sure that Romania IS NOT Schengen. And the UK is also not Schengen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

I nearly f. this up when I was traveling with my Non-EU girlfriend who was on a single entry Visa and I was about to book a flight for us from Vienna to Sofia to travel in East Europe.

The question is: Can citizens of Bulgaria and Romania just move to the UK without further requirements? Looks to me they would need a visa.

> Can citizens of Bulgaria and Romania just move to the UK without further requirements?

Yes. This right has nothing at all to do with Schengen.

The transitional restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians, implemented when the two countries joined the EU, ended on 1 January 2014.

Joining the Schengen Area is an ongoing process. Romania is currently not a member state.

Neither is the UK.

It's fairly easy to foresee a rush to get in before the door closes.

Define "rush". There perhaps might be a small uptick in people who were considering it, had plans in place and would now accelerate those plans, but are we so arrogant as a nation that we think EU citizens who have had the option to come here for years would now think, as we're about to say "fk you" to our closest neighbours and embark on years of uncertainty, will suddenly uproot their lives to come here?

I have friends and loved ones who moved here from the countries mentioned who contribute to this country infinitely more than a large number of native Brits. No one ever really talks about the human side of all of this.

>There perhaps might be a small uptick in people who were considering it

Like there was only going to be a trickle of immigration from the Eastern European countries when they joined the EU.

Don't get me wrong, I was staunchly in favour of remaining and see immigration from Europe as largely positive but we have to be more honest about it.

One could also foresee a rush out since the country is turning into a place many people would probably not want to live in. Seems naive to assume you won't be kicked out eventually.

I haven't heard any politician from either side of the debate calling for immigrants to be removed after brexit, in fact it has been quite the opposite.

Why? Serious question. What kind of benefit, advantage would they achieve? To my understanding of the UK immigration system there wouldn't be any.

If I was thinking of emigrating anywhere and I knew the door would close in two years then I would bring forward my plans, if I found out it was closing in a couple of weeks I'd think it was already too late. I don't see why this is controversial.

I was asking for facts, not gut feelings. Can you name any kind of certificate or any other kind of paper a immigrant could get now which would help him in the future?

Isn't that the whole point of the original article, there will be a cutoff point, people assumed it would be when we left the EU but the government is about to state that it will be when we call article 50.

A marriage certificate?

Why would you have to immigrate _now_ for a marriage certificate? Do you think the situation will worsen even more for couples married after the cut off date?

Right, but only if you were expecting to emigrate anyway. Otherwise it's hard to see how this would have any effect. It's not as if being 'trapped in the EU' is a major concern on the minds of most Europeans right now.

Conversely, there may well be plenty of Brits who may well be concerned that reciprocal restrictions might prevent them from emigrating to the EU and might move forward their plans to do so too.

...and it's also fairly easy to forsee that this rush will not happen, if, during the negotiations, the economy in britain goes further down.

But we will only know for sure in two years.

Anyway, I would have expected that there was a bigger rush up until the Brexit vote, when the British economy was very good and moving there seemed to be a safe bet (because it was in the EU and you could stay indefinitely).

The economy is currently doing well in the UK. All doom and gloom forecasts as a result of the referendum have been re-revised up.

Yes GBP has dropped in value but it will inevitably bounce back in time (although unlikely to the artificial high it was on just before the referendum last year).

Perhaps the government-scale numbers and stock markets haven't been hit as much, but I know my wallet is being pinched more: food, travel, technology, heck, even apps. "The economy" is one thing, money in the pocket is quite another.

Sure, and I'm feeling the same.

But a lot of the price pinches are down to currency fluctuation resulting in sellers raising prices in GBP hence our purchasing power is reduced.

The actual economy of the country to date is doing alright.

This is just tabloid regurgitation. The situation is much more fluid and nuanced, no-one is sure of what's going to happen going forward.

Right, so measures that confirm your prejudice are legitimate, whereas anything that dropped was clearly 'artificially high'

There have been numerous stories both before and after the referendum suggesting GBP was overvalued.



>Yes GBP has dropped in value but it will inevitably bounce back in time

Are you putting money on that?

Real estate always goes up...

Only if you don't understand the system. Merely arriving makes no difference; it's the application for permanent residence that's important.

We don't know that yet.

What? We know what the existing system is: residence is a necessary but not sufficient condition for becoming a permanent resident. People who have lived here for ages under the free movement rights are applying for permanent residence, and some are being rejected: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/27/rejections-e...


Every politician I have listened to has said they want existing migrants to stay, it's absurd to think that wouldn't be the case.


Much as I didn't like the decision brexit is nothing like 30's Germany.

It's sad how even the Independent is now taken by misleading headlines. They are considering stopping it 'after a “cut-off date”'' to prevent abuse of people from poor eastern Europe countries to flood UK before it leaves the EU. Right there in the first couple of paragraphs.

I used to have a lot of respect for the BBC, Financial Times, and The Independent. Even The Guardian being partisan had the basic decency of putting things in perspective of the opposing side.

Nowadays all turned into hardcore fanatics looking how to manipulate as much as possible the news to provoke reactions in readers.

Perhaps they were cornered into this by the readership. And by Facebook and other social networks creating a cutthroat environment where only nasty clickbait survives.

It's very sad. We are witnessing the end of respectable journalism.

What are you talking about? What is misleading about this headline? It doesn't contain literally every detail, because yes you are supposed to actually read the article. As you mentioned, the important details are right there in the first couple paragraphs, not missing or buried near the end.

How would you have phrased this headline?

I'm an EU citizen living in the UK, and I held my breath reading this headline. I was relieved to read alecco's comment (and the actual article). I think that's what he means: the headline sounds like she's going to kick EU citizens out. After all, the headline, as it stands, applies to me. Her actual words, very explicitly, do not. That is misleading.

That's entirely fair - but, I don't think it's The Independents fault that EU citizens in the UK are in for a terrifying ride watching these laws get negotiated.

She is ending EU citizens right to live and work in UK, with provisions to protect those already in the country.

Another somewhat important distinction to note is that ending the right to live here doesn't imply eliminating the possibility to do so. Although they now seem to be ruling out a points-based system, I'm assuming that once you tick certain boxes in some shape or form (and one can reasonably assume people on this board will do so), it will be more or less frictionless to move to and fro.

Whether discriminating against lesser-skilled immigration from poorer countries is a moral thing to do is, of course, a separate subject for discussion.

Also EU citizen living here for 2 years (so not entitled to the permanent residency). I own a UK company and pay my share of taxes. Still I'm scared I'm going to be asked to leave at some point.

Also, if I go visit my family on the continent, am I going to be able to come back ?

The UK Prime Minister has said that she actually wants EU citizens to remain in the UK post-Brexit, but it is dependent on similar rights being granted to UK citizens in EU countries. It's not a decision wholly up to the UK.

Most likely, the system of permanent residence status will remain in place for the next 5 years plus some buffer: https://www.gov.uk/eea-registration-certificate/permanent-re...

I agree that, if I were you, I'd be nervous about any trip abroad within the next 3 years.

Work Permit in UK is quite open for non-EU workers. Stop freaking out. Unless you are a waiter or dish washer.

Are you sure about that? Do you know what the requirements are?

Yes, first hand. They have everything on the government websites. As long as you have a sponsor and not working on something trivial you are safe.

> ... applies to me. Her actual words, very explicitly, do not.

I think you skipped this part:

> providing the same was true for UK citizens living in the EU.

That means your future in the UK is as safe as some bargain chips can be.

I understand where you're coming from, but "the end of respectable journalism"? This is a slight misunderstanding of an accurate but not completely precise headline.

If she were going to kick EU citizens out, the headline would be "May to announce mass deportations" or something.

Well, except if you happen to take a flight out and come back after 15th of March. Because then presumably you'll be 'arriving after the cut-off date'.

And secondly, do you really believe the uk government capable of distinguishing between people who have arrived before or after a date? They don't have a record of travel for everyone in the country. Are you going to be keeping bills in your name from before 15th of march to prove your residence history, the same as for a bank account proof of address?

I've been in the UK for close to 10 years now and I definitely feel like this applies to me. I'm considering either getting a green card and moving towards citizenship, or just moving out of the country. These decisions are frankly insulting.

If you're 'resident' during the time you're absent the country, there's no way this cut-off will apply to you. While they haven't formulated it yet, it's pretty clear this applies to people who try to become residents after the cut-off date, not people who happen to land in the country afterwards.

Politics may be a bit screwy right now, but it's not insane, at least not yet in the UK, as much as people like to hyperbolise.

If you're currently living here, going abroad for a few weeks will be vanishingly unlikely to suddenly define you as no longer live here.

"Politics may be a bit screwy right now, but it's not insane,"

Oh yes it is. We have a nasty, dishonest and utterly incompetent government with free reign to do irreparable damage to this country, no thanks to our non-functioning and useless opposition party.

Meanwhile, our national press, who have never been anything other than dishonest and self-serving are in full frothing-at-the-mouth hysteria mode when it comes to Brexit.

I can't recall in recent memory a time in the UK when politics has been so dysfunctional and depressing as now.

> They don't have a record of travel for everyone in the country.

All passports leaving the UK by official ports have been scanned by the UK Border Force for several years; at least five, from memory, and probably prior to their inception too.

They won't have a record if you departed in the dead of night from a small harbour using a yacht, but otherwise the database is fairly comprehensive. Even departures to outide the UK from my local flying-club airfield have UKBF in attendance ( I presume they charge for the 'service' ).

I do believe that all this information is recorded somewhere. I very much doubt those records are in an accessible and queryable form that would allow the government to tell how long someone was a legal resident in the uk, and even more doubtful is them actually trying.

More likely everyone will have to prove their right to residence, and the border database will not be available to us.

Same here. We just bought a house last year, these headlines are making my heart skip a beat :) Will I be kicked out but still need to pay the mortgage? Nonesense these false news portals these days are.

However, I believe putting a control on immigration is the right thing to do.

So you're a EU citizen living in Britain, and now that you're in, you want the borders to be closed?

Immigration is great when I'm doing it.

But there was immigration without control for so long, with it's negative (and many positive) drawbacks. There should be a limit on that. Also, in big cities there are irreversible cultural changes which I consider harmful. Huge mosques, no-go zones, etc. I don't want my children to grow up in something like that.

Therefore, my presence is only temporary.

How hypocritical

> What are you talking about? What is misleading about this headline? ... How would you have phrased this headline?

I would have gone with:

   Theresa May to end EU citizens' rights to move to the UK
thereby removing the potential to construe it as an action against those already here.

Here's the same headline from the Britain's pro-Conservative paper the Telegraph:

"Theresa May poised to announce end of free movement for new EU migrants next month"


> I used to have a lot of respect for the BBC, Financial Times, and The Independent. Even The Guardian being partisan had the basic decency of putting things in perspective of the opposing side.

A family watches the local news while awaiting their grandfather's arrival at Sunday dinner. The lead story is about a person causing chaos driving the wrong way on the highway. They quickly realize that the person is on the same highway that their grandfather usually takes to their house and call their grandfather to warn him.

"Grandpa, there's a person going the wrong way on the highway! Be careful!"

"_A_ person?" the grandfather replies angrily. "There's hundreds of 'em!"

I don't think that the headline is misleading one bit.

You're just making assumptions about the time of this order going in effect to be right away which can't be deduced from the headline.

You'd be right if the headline read like this

"Theresa May ends EU citizens’ rights to live in UK"

Which implies immediate action taking place.

The fact that the headline gets the "to end", or in other cases "set to end", suggests that the subject of the sentence is expected to do something in the future and not in the present.

> They are considering stopping it 'after a “cut-off date”'' to prevent abuse of people from poor eastern Europe countries to flood UK before it leaves the EU. Right there in the first couple of paragraphs.

What abuse? People finding jobs in the UK?

I mean... it's a headline. The point is to read the story.

It's a bad headline, and the point is to trick people into loading the story.

It very much is an "end to EU citizens' right to residency" for those many Romanians and Bulgarians who enter after March 15th. So there is nothing misleading in the headline. Given that it affects thousands of people it's not hyperbole either. It's also a blatant violation of the EU treaty, which has not yet been terminated.

Not the best way to start the negotiations and I suspect British nationals will experience reciprocal measures in Bulgaria/Romania.

It doesn't pay to have an informative headline because revenue is based on the amount of people who open your webpage, not the amount of people who get informed by you. This is another bit of damage done by the disgusting ad industry.

I often ponder the principle that some things should not be for-profit, at least not in the same all-in 'whatever legal means to generate profit' setting in which most regular companies operate. This includes parts of the press, of healthcare actors, and 'baseline human life logistics' such as limited means for food/shelter/transportation for everyone.

Historically (read: empirically, as demonstrated by the real world regardless of what theories think), there are two ways to go about this, both having their set of issues:

- Socializing to some extent, but States are bad bad bad at anything economics (and overspend, mismanage, etc.)

- Non-profit legal statuses, with the appropriate amount of tax exemption, incentives, etc.; but then you enter a world of non-competition which produces abysmally low returns (and even if nobody actually profits, we still need these entities to remain efficient).

I think the ad industry, regarding the press for instance, is just one of the factors motivating the above top/general principle; i.e. that profit-seeking is detrimental to some missions/goals. Nonetheless necessary for said missions to be conducted in the first place (quality journalism, for instance, requires suitable compensation).

I certainly don't pretend to know the answer but a few empirically-motivated ideas emerge as we see this century unfold with its specific attributes.

1 - The creation of a legal status between companies and States: a "Citizen layer" of sorts which shares goals with States (not for profit, on a mission for the public good) but is managed just like regular companies (including competition/anti-trust, regular hiring without elections). This should allow "bad seeds" to die just like bad banks, and the good ones (which would actually make profit, and in time lower costs/increase quality) to thrive.

2 - Giving a "universal wage" to a pre-defined subset of some professions (e.g. N journalists) so as to ensure they exist and don't have to worry about profit (but the competition between journalists remains; as an individual you still have to actually be employed by a news outlet to receive said wages, it's not a right but a finite subvention, it's just removing the burden for that news outlet to make profit to pay you). Obviously there's still competition between news outlets.

There are many, many issues with these ideas, especially drafted hastily like that, but I think these are avenues worth considering. To put a few buzzwords into it, 1 is the idea of crowd-sourcing most of States' work and putting the management back into citizen control instead of elected/officials which are usually not qualified. 2 is just extending the notion of universal income to domains that would be deemed as essential as food or shelter for a population, e.g. information services (press). 1 is generally a weakening of the State where it fails historically, towards a more realistic economically-savvy model, with the added benefit of empowering citizenry as a whole. 2 is conversely a slight re-balancing towards a little dose of 'privately owned communism' when things are indeed of common good or interest (such as information), but limited to money transfers (States don't run anything, they just allocate funds they previously used internally).

Clickbait is just one symptom among many of an unbalanced system (let's not even talk about the general intellectual level of public debate at a time when more people are educated than ever in human history). There's a much larger picture to consider if we are to make our societies more efficient (information being key to democracy, and beyond that to a 'smart', 'informed' population, able to build progress).

While I agree that a profit centric competetive society is not the best solution, in this case I see the problem more with how the profits are distributed. When you aren't motivated to build trust to get people to give you money for your work anymore but instead are motivated to get people to look in your direction so you can show them something they might actually spend money on, it seems pretty inevitable quality will suffer.

I hear you and completely agree.

> how the profits are distributed

There is on top of that the matter of conflicts of interest; i.e. shareholders with a political agenda etc.

Yup I fully agree, the change in the BBC has become the most disheartening for me. One of their subheadlines right now is "Nine epic award fails" - like something straight out of Buzzfeed

Agreed, I've been strongly pro-BBC my whole life and recently even I'm starting to have serious doubts.

Honestly, you can't blame the BBC for that subheadline... blame the readership.

No, I'll blame the BBC thanks.

Precisely - part of the reason BBC news exists and gets special treatment is that it shouldn't have to worry about clickbaity headlines and listicles to grab eyeballs

The Independent became an online-only newspaper last March, and has gone downhill rapidly.

They even have a whole site dedicated to clickbait crap: https://www.indy100.com/ ("A bagel started a brawl on a train and it was terrifying.")

> “She will be giving clarity by setting a clear deadline while the European Union looks increasingly muddled and mean-spirited.”

> The European Union has apparently argued that the cut-off date should be the same date as the day the UK actually leaves the EU.


They're not sounding particularly muddled or mean-spirited to me..

Is there a government resource supporting these statistics:

  > 3.6 million EU citizens who are already in Britain
  > 1.2 million British citizens living in other EU countries
I like the Economist in this regard, they seem to always reference source data. It could be explained by the differences in editorial policies or the fact that the Economist is on a weekly release schedule, so their fact-checkers have more time to backup their inputs.

Theres also the fact that a large number of British emigrants are beyond the pensioner age and the bulk live in either Spain or Ireland.

It will pose a massive problem for old Brits in Spain when their right to claim healthcare via the Spanish system as facilitated by the EU will cause some of them to move back to the UK and this will compounded by placing an increasing strain on NHS which has come under cuts.

The EU citizens in the UK by contrast are typically young, educated working professionals and will be an economic boon for the EU to take some back.

It's a bit complicated, but:


> 3.2 million of the non-UK born residents were born in the EU (16% of whom held British nationality, 83% held EU nationality and 1% held non-EU nationality).

> 5.4 million of the non-UK born residents were born outside of the EU (54% of whom held British nationality, 5% held EU nationality and 41% held non-EU nationality) – a reflection that EU nationals have the freedom of movement between EU countries, whereas for non-EU nationals there is an incentive to acquire British nationality.


> Around 900,000 UK citizens are long-term residents of other EU countries; the largest age group is aged 30 to 49 years.

I'm not sure where Independent is getting their numbers.

Those ONS numbers you cited would account for 2.92 million EU citizens living in the UK (3.2m * 0.83 + 5.4m * 0.05), but there's also the possibility of UK-born EU citizens living in the UK. Which admittedly doesn't exact fit most people's definitions of immigrants but may well be included in the Independent's number.

It's also not clear how how the ONS numbers account for dual citizenship, since their numbers all up exactly to 100%.

This should cause inflation of prices as the price of food increase. This is due to it being more expensive to produce food in the UK versus importing it from for example Spain and the Netherlands. Thus the average UK consumer will be poorer.

Not limited only products such as vegetables.

It also creates more jobs, less of that money leaving the UK as remittances, and pressure on businesses with workers paid so low that consumption of basic products eats up a large part of their wages to raise those wages. So who knows how it will shake out. It's certainly not an unambiguous moral good to have a class of people in the country who can unofficially be treated worse than the native-born because they're expected to live in squalor to support their families back home.

What are you talking aobut? EU protectionism raises food prices.



“UK citizens do not like to come and pick our crops and so we have to bring in workers from the EU; from Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria etc. They represent 95 percent of our workforce and without them we are absolutely sunk,” he said.

No, man, I'm sure the lower class British workers will be glad to work for crap pay and be treated as sh*t just so the rest of the Britons get cheap produce :)

It makes sense, I don't think anyone could realistically expect anything different. Considering it's basically a starting negotiating position, it's actually pretty good from my perspective (EU national who has formally been granted permanent residency by exercising his treaty rights).

Obviously the devil is in the details, i.e. what it will mean exactly "after the cutoff date": if one has lived in UK long enough to qualify for treaty-rights but never actually exercised them formally before the cutoff, can he still do it after that date? That's the situation most people are likely in, at the moment. A reasonable government would answer yes, of course, but recent news seem to indicate they are looking for any excuse to kick people out, so it's not a given.

If you are an EU citizen living in UK, you should absolutely ask to exercise your rights TODAY; do not delay, do not trust news reports, it's just a bit of bureaucracy but could make a big difference in your future. Make sure you send documents as recorded delivery and track each and every date.

If you are an EU citizen looking to move to the UK: just don't. This country has decided they don't need you and me, they don't deserve our labour, our ideas and our taxes.

My perspective is a little bit different. If they want to kick me out, I'll go somewhere else.

I am Irish; the probability is high that my nationality will be treated differently owing to history. But if they want me to ask to stay, they can go fuck themselves.

"If they want me to ask to stay, they can go fuck themselves."

Swede living in London here. I've got exactly the same opinion.

Dane living in Nottingham here, I feel the exact same way.

I am working remote, so my job moves with me, and it might be back home, hopefully with my british girlfriend :) but I fear the future, and how much bureaucracy we will face.

Spoken like a true Viking: take their gold AND their wenches!

I agree with your attitude in the long run (and am looking to move out myself), but in the immediate I think it's important for people to prepare so that they are not arbitrarily pressured into making immediate choices. Say you own a house, and the government says you don't have a right to live here anymore; you'll likely sell that house at a low price as you rush to relocate. History is full of this sort of profiteering following forced exodus (Spanish Jews, German Jews, Turkish Greeks and so on). If a bit if bureaucracy can save you from that, I think it's smart to do it.

> (Spanish Jews, German Jews, Turkish Greeks and so on)

And many more; as an American it immediately brings to mind WWII Japanese internment. Businesses and homes lost to pressure and profiteering as people were ripped out of society and dropped in open-air prisons.

Irish citizens in the UK hold a more favourable status than EU citizens as is, the likelyhood of this changing is practically nil.

> If they want to kick me out

Did the article? This is about a cutoff date to stop a wave of last minute immigrants. Nothing about expelling current ones. Don't let clickbait headlines make you angry.

"Nothing about expelling current ones. "

Don't be so sure about that: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/26/grandmother-...

This case is completely unrelated to the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK.

For now. Presumably even if you were here for >5 years now as an EU citizen, if you went to europe for >2 years, you wouldn't be allowed in, the same as this lady.

While slightly different laws may apply, it clearly shows the attitude of UK's officials.

They probably won't be expelling anyone, but the UK government has explicitly said that they'll use the rights of EU citizens in the UK as a bargaining chip, so if I were an EU citizen in the UK I'd be worried.

They've explicitly said they don't want to use them as a bargaining chip, but would be foolish to give it up uniliaterally.

A bit like "I don't really want to eat this delicious cake, but it would be foolish to leave it to rot."

How will border control at the airport distinguish between EU citizens who are allowed to come in, and those who need to fill out some paperwork and will be kicked out if they overstay their implied visa / waiver?

You don't seriously expect this government to actually think through their proposals, do you? /s

More seriously: permanent residency as a result of exercising treaty rights comes with a document, so some will carry that. For everyone else, you would hope the government will put in place some sort of registration scheme that is easier than treaty-rights (which currently requires 5 years of continuous settlement in UK).

As for prosecuting people who overstay... eh. They are already pretty overworked and incapable of tracking most illegals, I can only imagine things will get even worse after they add hundreds of thousands new cases. Like in the US, they will compensate for this structural deficiency by being extra-brutal with the poor few they do catch (like they already do). This will drive more and more people underground, which will do wonders for crime syndicates, human traffickers and the like.

> I am Irish; the probability is high that my nationality will be treated differently owing to history

Yes, I think you're allowed to stay.

Based on what exactly? If you have sources to cite there are many interested people. So far we've a general feeling of "people have been moving between these two countries freely since decades before the EU existed so they couldn't stop that... could they?" - could they?

Then again, isn't the EU supposed to bargain as a block?

Any firm comment on this by a party in a position to influence policy would be received with great interest.

Ireland is a special case; the Ireland Act 1949 provides that "Ireland is not a foreign country", and the Good Friday Agreement requires an open border between Eire and NI.

Like everything else, this is now subject to uncertainty. http://irishpost.co.uk/irish-government-attempts-calm-citize...

(The possibility of NI rejoining Éire has now moved from "unthinkable" to "maybe". If a border gets imposed as part of Brexit that moves to "likely")

There hasn't been a word from the UK government about how this could be achieved. There seems to be no realistic way to retain an open border with the Republic of Ireland while not having an open border with the rest of the EU. The mythical Romanian could just fly to Dublin, drive to NI and catch a ferry. The only solution that I can see is to move the border to the North Sea. An open border with the Republic, but border controls between NI and GB. I imagine that will go down like a cup of cold sick with a good proportion of the population of NI.

"drive to NI and catch a ferry."

Of course, the implicit assumption there is that anyone going to NI is doing so to get to Britain. What about the mythical Romanian who just moves to Belfast and sets up a life there? Is that a failure of UK immigration policy? (Maybe it's not - I'm genuinely curious what people think). I'm not from NI, but it doesn't seem terribly polite of British politicians to suggest that people would go to NI just to get to the "real" UK (aka Britain), as though NI isn't a worthwhile destination on its own.

The options I've seen floated range from deputizing ROI immigration officers to enforce UK immigration policy, to imposing a hard land border between ROI and NI (I really, really, really hope we don't end up with that), to imposing document checks for travelers between Britain and NI, which seems to be suggesting that nobody from the EU would want to go to NI just to live in NI.

In my view, at least, all of these options are a bit shit.

(I use the term "Britain" here to refer to the island occupied by England, Wales, and Scotland, distinct from the UK, which is England, Wales, Scotland, and NI)

Indeed. I can't see Stormont agreeing to border posts (and Stormont is anyway in a mess over RHI corruption!), but if the British government starts unilaterally building them against the will of Stormont they've broken the GFA and the IRA may start blowing them up.

Internal quasi-border is a bit more likely - there are already some ID checks there - but will accelerate the decline of Unionism further.

It doesn't make sense at all.

Until the end of the two years of the Article 50 negotiation (or before, if both the EU and the UK agree), the UK is a full member of the EU, with all the obligations that this entitles.

That includes the right to live and work of citizens of other EU countries.

Restricting that unilaterally is a gross violation of the treaties.

They're not violating the treaties, they are saying if EU citizens come after a certain date then their residency is not guaranteed.

EU citizens will be free to come right up until the UK exits the EU but those that came after said date will likely have to apply for visas. Those before will keep residency.

Yeah, many things seem kinda bogus regarding this mess, even the PM herself.

> If you are an EU citizen looking to move to the UK: just don't. This country has decided they don't need you and me, they don't deserve our labour, our ideas and our taxes.

Well, 52% of the people who voted kinda, sorta said that. The rest of us are just being dragged along at the moment.

"This country has decided they don't need you and me, they don't deserve our labour, our ideas and our taxes."

What about an EU citizen deciding to move to the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil or India? These countries were never in the EU. Did they therefore decide they don't need EU citizens? If not, why is the UK after it exits from the EU necessarily a less welcoming place for EU citizens than other non-EU countries?

The United States is not a welcoming place for EU citizens. Immigration is strictly limited, the procedures expensive and time-consuming. If that's the bar for the UK government, the grandparent poster is right: it's not going to be worth even looking at Britain.

To put it another way: if working in London, New York and San Francisco are going to be equally difficult to arrange, I'm not sure why anyone would prefer London. Housing is as expensive as NY or SF, yet wages are much lower. The weather isn't great either.

These can be valid points for some, and carry less weight for others (say, if you live in Paris and are offered a good job in London, and they help you deal with the visa stuff, for most it's probably also nice to be able to visit Paris much more easily than you could from NY or SF.)

At any rate, "not sure why anyone would prefer London with the post-EU laws" is very different from "they decided they don't want me because they're not in the EU (even though there might be an otherwise nicely sounding arrangement available for me)."

> if you live in Paris and are offered a good job in London, and they help you deal with the visa stuff

Note that the freedom of movement in the EU means there isn't any "visa stuff" to deal with.

An EU citizen moving to the UK needs to fill in a form, to get a "National Insurance" number. The same would be required of a British citizen that didn't have one, for example if they'd been born and lived overseas before moving to the UK.

There are no other requirements that don't also apply to British / resident people moving within the UK.

Well, yeah, but here the entire discussion is about UK's exit from the EU, at which point freedom of movement in the EU doesn't apply, I think. So I was describing a hypothetical future situation where you would have some "stuff" to deal with.

> It makes sense, I don't think anyone could realistically expect anything different

I might not expect it, but I do hope that a country that prides itself on the rule of law, and the historic influence it had in the world, would not break the terms of an international treaty.

> it's actually pretty good from my perspective

Are you familiar with the British expression, "I'm all right, Jack"?

> exercise your rights TODAY ... it's just a bit of bureaucracy

Ah, the 85 page form with the £65 fee, which many of my friends are worried they'll not be able to fill in correctly -- especially after all the stories in the British press of the long-term residents whose applications were rejected.

For comparison, the Danish form for permanent residency has 6 pages in English (and 6 in Danish, it's bilingual), no fee, and only requires copies of the last few tax returns and a current job contract. Unfortunately, even if Britain remains in the UK until, say, 31 March 2019, I'll still be a few months short of the 5 year requirement.

> If you are an EU citizen living in UK, you should absolutely ask to exercise your rights TODAY; do not delay, do not trust news reports, it's just a bit of bureaucracy but could make a big difference in your future. Make sure you send documents as recorded delivery and track each and every date.

Apparently my Dutch friend who has a PhD funded by the UK government can't apply for permanent residency because she doesn't earn enough to meet the £35k minimum earning set by the UK government. She's been here for almost 8 years. She's lucky that she's getting married and her now-fiance earns enough to make her qualify for spousal visa, but I know tons of others who are not so lucky.

That's wrong, the 35k threshold is for non-EU people only. I dearly hope she wasn't willingly misinformed by civil servants.

And I am pretty sure it isn't 35k, more like £18,600 without children.

Nonetheless, any amount above £0 makes my life a misery.

I'm British living in another EU country, with my non-EU spouse and British son. Who knows how my situation will resolve itself. This article holds out some olive branch of the offer of EU citizenship for people in my situation.

However, let's play the hypothetical situation that I am forced to leave due to negotiation breakdowns or whatever. I return to the UK, right? Unfortunately, my wife can't join me until I already earn above about a £22k threshold (additional for child). It isn't that I don't believe I can earn that amount, it is the elapsed time and enforced separation. Maybe it takes me a couple of months to find a job, it will then probably take several months for my wife's Visa application to be processed (she's already randomly had one visitor visa application denied, which we appealed against and won, but it was a 12 month process). And what's her status in our current EU country of residence if I have returned to the UK?

It's all a big old mess for those of us exercising our EU treaty rights.

Your Dutch friend is misinformed. She doesn't need any earnings to apply for permanent residency (talking from experience).

> If you are an EU citizen looking to move to the UK: just don't

I call BS on that. UK is quite open to LEGAL worker immigration from anywhere around the world. What's the big deal? I worked in UK for years and I'm not EU. Many Americans, Asians, Australians, etc. go through these channels without issue. After a few years they give you residentship. And shortly after that they give you citizenship.

It's crazy how this is all made to sound like UK is going to become Cuba or something. ALARMIST NONSENSE by radicalization and willful ignorance.

UK is quite open to LEGAL worker immigration from anywhere around the world.

lol, no it isn't - legal immigration from the EU is the main pillar of Brexit: "Stop all these people coming to live in our country."

It's a simple distinction:

1. You want to come work in London? Fill out all these forms, pay fees, prove that you're going to be useful, and we might allow you to stay

2. You want to come work in Berlin? Sure, come along.

Do you see how the latter makes you feel much more welcome?

Didn't the Conservatives campaign in the last election about bringing legal immigration numbers down to <100K/year?

Net migration, if you discount returning British citizens it currently sits at around 200,000 a year (500,000 gross), so it would be an approximate 20% reduction in non-British immigration.

Or a 30% increase in emigration, but I doubt they're aiming for that.

It seems the only way to execute your rights is to apply for residency and that requires 5 years.

More accurate headline would be: Theresa May to end [new] EU citizens’ rights to live in UK

As a CTO of a London based tech startup who has just employed an EU national with a start date after the 15th of March this article is terrifying.

I employed one 6 months ago and literally just scheduled an interview with another this morning for later in the week. Fun times...

UK Work Permits are trivial to get for tech workers from anywhere in the world.

Sure, they can definitely come in with another visa but that requires a fair bit more work compared to a 'local' hire which is an added cost. Then once they get here (if the article is true) they don't have any right to remain in the country for an extended period of time which makes attracting them over/keeping them here even more difficult.

As I read it, this means that EU nationals will be able to enter the UK up until it leaves the EU, but when it has left, those who entered after the cut-off date will not necessarily be allowed to stay.

It doesn't look too unreasonably, and probably doesn't violate EU rules by itself, but I wonder about a few things:

* How will it effect EU nationals getting for example a mortgage in the UK before the exit? Normally banks require a permanent right of residency and an EU passport is enough to prove it.

* How will EU nationals who entered before the cut-off date prove it to the government? Immigration applications can often be ridiculously cumbersome. Will someone who has lived in the UK for 20 years be expected to submit detailed documentation for every international trip in those 20 years?

Here is an actual barrister's opinion of the situation, and it isn't pretty!


As an EU cit who left five years ago, working through short gigs and remote consultancy made me appreciate their persoective but also think that we are all going for a bumpy road and united might be better than alone.

Hmm, do you think article 50 would further reduce GBP/USD ratio? I have some money in GBP and I am considering selling now.

Made me wonder if I'm "the EU" do I respond to this by

a) Saying that the same rules will apply to UK citizens living in EU countries at that point in time (hard line).

b) Saying "UK folks welcome".

c) No comment/ignore.

Why is this on HN?

Someone submitted it and other people voted for it.

The UK, and especially London is a major startup hub, with many Europeans working or running companies here. It's sort of like articles about housing in San Francisco: not directly related to tech, but indirectly very important.

Because HN has a big readership base in the UK, and people care about this issue?


Please don't post like this here. If you have specific concerns about astroturfing and you have evidence, please email us at hn@ycombinator.com and we can investigate. Otherwise this so predictably degrades the discussion that it looks just like trolling.

Both sides of this debate are equally guilty of accusing the others of astroturfing.

To liberals, any pro-Trump poster must be a Russian operating out of a St. Petersburg fake news factory. To conservatives, any anti-Trump poster must be a paid protester on the payroll of George Soros.

I feel it would make sense for HN to have a full ban on any accusations of astroturfing or paid trolling.

And yet you don't see any blatant pro-Brexit or pro-Trump stories here

Why do you think that is due to astroturfing?

Everyone is free to post stories from Breitbart, Daily Mail or Russia Today. I guess they just don't get enough upvotes.

I'd be willing to bet that those particular sites are weighted negatively here. There are pro-Trump policy articles from more mainstream conservative sources, though.

Я должен буду помнить, что один!

'I'll have to remember that one!' according to Google Translate.

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