Debate continues at Ixelles Council about status of British nationals in Belgium post Brexit

Ixelles Council is to keep 1,500 of its constituents waiting for another month before deciding whether to pass a motion of solidarity calling for unilateral guarantees for all Britons in Belgium in the event of a no deal Brexit. Following representations from New Europeans, the award-winning civil rights organisation which has its headquarters in Ixelles, Ecolo councillor Bertrand Wert tabled a motion calling on the Federal Government in Belgium to bring forward draft legislation which to relieve the anxiety felt by British residents whose lives have been in limbo since the Brexit vote.

“It is not fair that our British friends and neighbours – who after all are EU citizens as we are – should be left in this situation and as their representatives, all of us on Ixelles Council should be doing the best we can to defend their interests and protect their rights”The motion is expected be debated again at the next Ixelles Council meeting on 21st February.


Casale with MEP Jo Leinen


Commenting on the delay, Roger Casale, Founder and CEO of New Europeans said, “The vote has been postponed but the debate will continue and not just here in Ixelles. We cannot leave the fate of #the5million EU27 citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe in the hands of Theresa May and Michel Barnier alone.

It is time that local councils in EU 27 member states are mobilised to support Britons in their communities, just as we have succeeded in mobilising local authorities in Britain including the Mayor of London to show solidarity with EU27citizens in their areas. We must brig this uncertainty to an end because it is causing huge emotional and psychological distress. It’s about being European and recognising that this is a test of European values.”

Dusan Jakovljevic, a British-Bosnian public affairs consultant based in Ixelles tweeted,”This uncertainty is very unsettling. We have been Ixelles residents since 2005 but feel stuck in an administrative limbo. I do hope we will not be deported to the UK”

Councillor Bertrand Wert has called fro British residents in Ixelles to contact him with their personal stories.

Meanwhile, New Europeans is talking to other councils in Brussels as well as continuing its dialogue with Ixelles in order to push the Belgian government to wards taking concrete measures which would give Britons in Belgium unequivocal, comprehensive and immediate guarantees of their future status.