Post-Brexit: Thousands of British Nationals Ordered To Leave EU Countries

Post-Brexit: Thousands of British Nationals Ordered To Leave EU Countries

Since the United Kingdom officially exited the European Union, one of the consequences of ending free movement has become clear for the thousands of British nationals who have been ordered to leave EU countries.

Data published by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, reveals that about 2,285 British nationals were ordered to leave EU countries between 2020 and September 2022.

Data on non-EU nationals ordered to leave EU member states include people found to be illegally present in member states who are subject to an administrative or judicial decision imposing them to depart. This means that the numbers include those who fail to meet the residency or visa requirements as well as those ordered to leave after committing crimes.

The data presented does not include the exact reasons why British nationals were ordered to leave so it is not clear how many orders were directly linked to the results of Brexit and the ending freedom of movement.

According to Eurostat, more than a million non-EU citizens were ordered to leave the EU between January 2020 and September 2022.

Countries Who Imposed Leave Orders British Nationals

According to the report, although France has the highest proportion of leave orders to non-EU citizens, it is Sweden and the Netherlands that have taken the toughest approach to British nationals. 

5 EU Countries With The Highest Expulsion Orders For British Nationals:

  • Sweden – 1,050 leave orders
  • The Netherlands – 615 leave orders
  • Malta – 115 leave orders 
  • France – 95 leave orders  
  • Belgium – 65 leave orders  

Some countries with large populations of British nationals such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy reported no expulsion orders.

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, UK nationals who were legally resident in any of the EU’s 27 member states  at the end of the transition period were eligible for permanent residence in the EU and will be able to retain their rights

Fourteen countries, including Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy, opted for systems automatically conferring a new post-Brexit residence status on British nationals residing on their territory, with no risk of losing rights if any administrative deadline is missed.

The remaining 13, however, required UK nationals to formally apply for their new post-Brexit residence status, with many setting cut-off dates.

Those who missed the deadline as well as new arrivals since January 2021 are subject to EU member states’ immigration, residency and visa laws for third-country nationals.

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