“Will I be able to stay? Will I have to leave? “London Europeans worried about their future


London mayor Sadiq Khan wants Europeans living in London to stay in the capital, despite Brexit, this Friday, January 31. – A. Boumedienne / 20 Minutes

  • This Friday evening at midnight (11 p.m. in London), the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.
  • In London, many French expatriates from other European countries are wondering about their future within the country.
  • To answer this, the London City Hall is offering free legal advice to Europeans in London this Friday. And “20 Minutes” was there.

In London

If the mood of expats living in London was a song, maybe it would be Should I stay or should I go, song by Clash (or Should I leave? Or should I stay by David Charvet, according to his tastes). Because in this ”
Brexit day “, The weather is as gloomy as the mood of some of the Londoners, opposed to the end of the adventure
European of
UK. Many of them went to London City Hall, on the banks of the Thames, a stone’s throw from the London Bridge. This Friday, London City Hall opened at 5 p.m. for a special occasion.

As the British officially leave the European Union this midnight Friday (11 p.m. London time), there are many concerns among European expatriates living in London. This is why the municipality, led by Labor and antiBrexitSadiq Khan, offers them this Friday “free legal advice” and “emotional support”. The goal, to answer their questions: Will I be able to stay? Will I have to leave? Will my family be able to join me? 20 minutes attended the event.

“You are Londoners, your place is here”

“London is open”, it was with this message of hope and brotherhood that the mayor of the British capital opened his speech to the Europeans in London. With emotion, Sadiq Khan insisted on reassuring all Londoners from Europe, settled in his city. “You are Londoners. You are esteemed, respected, loved and adored. Your place is here and you will always be welcome, ”he said before receiving a standing ovation.

“I have to prove all my years of life in London to stay”

But a kind message is not enough to erase the fears of all these French, Italians, Spaniards, Greeks and other European residents about their future from February 1. This is the case of Marie, both Londoner and French, who has lived in the British capital for many years with her husband, a British national. If for her, her life has been in Britain for a long time, it is not so obvious from the side of the English authorities. And that’s what worries him today. “I made a request for” settlement ” [demande de résidence permanente], to continue to be a resident of London, but my request was refused, she explains. I have lived here for so long! But today I am asked to prove all my years of life in London so that I can stay. However, all our administrative documents are in the name of my husband ”. The Frenchwoman therefore came here to receive free advice from a lawyer, “to find out about the procedures for obtaining the right to remain in Great Britain without renouncing my French nationality”.

Luca is ready to give it up, his Italian nationality. Settled in London for six years with his wife – Italian like him but naturalized British – his resident status is not enough to reassure him. “We are in the unknown, we do not know what is going to happen, since the conditions of Brexit are not fully defined. Perhaps the formalities that immigrants have to complete will harden, he imagines. So I don’t want to take a risk. “

“Calm down anxieties”

At 26, Maximilien has been living in the British capital for more than six months, where he works in a hotel and is already preparing to take up his new duties next spring “in a company that supports companies wishing to make their ecological transition” . And he has no plans to return to France to live after Brexit. “I intend to live in London for at least the next ten years,” he said.

And to put the odds on his side, he has already obtained a ” pre-settlement status “, a document which allows him to reside and work in Great Britain until 2023. But that does not prevent the young man from asking himself many questions about his future in London:” Inevitably, it’s stressful, I don’t want to be taken back to the border! “.

Lia is here today, at London City Hall, to reassure him: “Calm the anxiety. It is my mission today, to support Londoners in Europe who are worried, because Brexit is an incredible source of stress for them, it is unknown, “said the young woman of Greek origin.

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