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.

The country’s politicians are now pushing for these restrictions to be lifted before Brexit, to allow migrants the right to remain after Britain leaves the European Union.

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:

‘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.

‘We might might find ourselves in the unique and undesirable position of our citizens having a different status than all other member states. We require clarification.

‘While the number of Croatian citizens who work in the UK is not significant, we would want to avoid being in a disadvantageous position.’

Whist Britain would not be breaking any rules by complying with, or extending, the current regulations, the issue is a divisive one in Europe.

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.

‘Inversely, equal treatment between UK citizens and the nationals of the 27 member states must also be the rule when UK citizens live in those 27 states.’

This “equal treatment” would only be possible if the restrictions are removed.

Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com

 

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