The president of the European Commission – Jean-Claude Junker – has asked Belgium to offer citizenship to the hundreds of British EU officials after Brexit.
After a speech in the European parliament by Belgian prime minister Charles Michel, Juncker asked the premiere to think of British officials in Belgium who face repatriation.
800 British nationals work for the European Commission in Belgium. Many have resided in the country for numerous years but are now troubled how Brexit will affect their right to remain in the country. The situation is tentative as no definitive answer has been given about their status when they lose their EU citizenship.
An EU citizen living in Belgium usually has the right to apply for citizenship after living in the country for a certain time and meeting the criteria. However, EU officials live and work within Belgium under diplomatic status: meaning they do not pay income tax. Excluding them from applying. Some applications by British EU officials after Brexit have already been rejected on these grounds.
Michel acknowledged the situation and said his government was considering the issue.
photos: ©European People’s Party