Croatians Demand Right To Settle In UK
Croatia are demanding that its citizens receive full migrant and settler access to the UK before the Brexit door closes in 2019. At present the country is in a ‘transitional arrangement’ period, which means that Croatians do not currently have access to the UK in the same way that other Eastern Europeans do. They are worried that these transitional arrangements may be extended, causing them to miss out on a life in the UK.
A high-ranking official has told Politico the Croatian government is focusing heavily on finding a solution to the issue.
Maja Bogdan, deputy foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Plenkovic, said:
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‘Rights of citizens is an especially important area for Croatia, bearing in mind our specific position in relation to freedom of movement for workers.
‘In order for our citizens to have the same rights as other EU citizens, it is imperative for the UK not to extend the transitional period.
‘That way, our citizens would be able to attain ‘settled status’.’
Natasa Owens of European Movement Croatia said the country was in a ‘disadvantageous position’. She said:
‘As we were the last country to join the EU before Brexit and as we are still under the restrictions.
‘While the number of Croatian citizens who work in the UK is not significant, we would want to avoid being in a disadvantageous position.’
Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said in May that ‘all EU and UK nationals’ must be treated the same in Britain – pointedly not qualifying or exempting Croatian citizens. He said:
‘There must be equal treatment between all EU and UK nationals in the UK.
This “equal treatment” would only be possible if the restrictions are removed.
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com