Home » Britain » Should Theresa May Guarantee the ‘Rights’ of EU Citizens Living in Britain?

Should Theresa May Guarantee the ‘Rights’ of EU Citizens Living in Britain?


March 2017

by John Brian Shannon | March 6, 2017

Many of Britain’s finest newspaper columnists, editors of some of Britain’s most prestigious publications, and even some British MP’s are calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to ‘guarantee’ the so-called ‘rights’ of EU citizens who live, work and play in the United Kingdom.

This might seem a noble idea at first — however, there is no ‘right’ for anyone to live or work in Britain — other than the rights that have been earned by British citizens. It was Britons who built the great nation we see today and they did it through hard work, determination and innovation. And older British citizens suffered through WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and various social upheavals and recessions to build the modern Britain. Well done, lads and ladies!

Why should similar ‘rights’ be conferred upon the citizens of other countries simply because they work, study or retire in Britain?

Do Britons have those ‘rights’ in the EU or in other countries? Why not?

The answer is; British expats will never be granted similar ‘rights’ to citizens in other countries no matter how long Britons live there. So why does this question keep coming up?

“It would be convenient for EU citizens and companies that EU citizens should be granted similar ‘rights’ to British citizens.”

Well yes, of course it would. And I view statements like that in the same context as;

I would like a free Aston Martin delivered to my door today — and fresh-baked French bread delivered each morning.”

Righto. Allow me to get right on that.

Britain - EU expats

Why not just give EU citizens who live in Britain a free Aston Martin instead of free virtual citizenship and be done with it? It’d be cheaper in the long run.

How many other countries offer such ‘rights’ to the expats in their nations — as is being proposed by some in the UK?

Tourists are a completely different matter of course, and they are welcome anytime for stays up to 90 days. (This should be a standard rule in every country)

Britain’s tourism industry is a thriving enterprise — but it isn’t doing half as well as it might simply because Britons don’t see the attraction of Britain through the lens of foreigners. It’s a truly magnificent country that ranks first on practically every traveler’s bucket list.

Britain rank - 'The World's Most Visited Cities in 2016'

The World’s Most Visited Cities in 2016

Britain’s population of 65 million pales in comparison to Europe’s 439 million (for a pan-European total of 504 million in 2016) and it isn’t like continental Europe is running short of land, unlike the island nation of Britain. So why is London such a draw for EU citizens? Why do so many Europeans want to live in the UK?

Are there really 8 million foreigners in Britain?

According to widely circulated media reports there are 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK, mostly in London, and without a firm border there’s likely to be double that amount by 2025 if Britain decides to award free (virtual) citizenship to EU citizens. There are many more non-EU nationals living in the United Kingdom but no UK government department knows that number.

Our Government has absolutely no idea how many EU citizens live in the UK but The Migration Observatory reckons it will take 140 years to process the 3.5 million EU citizens presently in the UK who may seek permanent residence.

It’s a privilege, not a right

It’s a privilege for anyone to visit, work, or to retire in Britain — not a right.

If some EU citizens are miffed at that statement, they should know that many Britons will rejoice when they return to their former neighbourhoods (which are presently overpriced because 3.3 million high-spending EU nationals live in London) and return to their former jobs when those EU citizens leave the UK.

Britain - The Most Expensive Places to Buy a House in London 2016

The Most Expensive Places to Buy a House in London 2016

I sincerely and respectfully urge Prime Minister Theresa May to give careful consideration to granting the citizens of any country any special ‘rights’ unless identical rights are legislated in those other countries for Britons. Although it seems reasonable to me that a slightly more favourable visa regime could be passed by the UK House of Commons for the citizens of Commonwealth nations.

But for nationals of any other bloc or nation, a yearly and easily renewable worker or consultant visa, student visa, retiree visa, family or medical reasons visa, or academic visa should be requiritur per UK imperium for those who plan to stay in the UK for longer than 90 days (e.g. ‘not a tourist or diplomat, but an expat’) and it should be available online for £100 annually at GOV.UK.

Do the math: Assuming 8 million expats x £100 annually = £800,000,000 in annual government revenue. Which would almost cover the costs of monitoring and protecting those 8 million foreign nationals, and covering their share of infrastructure costs.

Millions of Britons lived (and many died in combat) to build a better Britain, let’s not give it away for the sake of corporate convenience to those who won’t ever fight for Britain.

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone; They paved paradise and put up a parking lot!” — Joni Mitchell

Related Articles:


  1. randyjw says:

    I agree. But, £100 hardly covers it. I’m sure they utilize medical services, travel the roadways, and otherwise take advantage of shared resources and services. Maybe if you were to add a zero or two… In the U.S., medical bills run into the thousands, if not the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    • Hi Randyjw,

      I agree with you in principle!

      But like car insurance where everyone pays a relatively low rate, but hardly anyone ever uses their insurance (other than to feel safe) so too, immigrants working, studying, or retired in the UK, are likely to not cost the UK too much on a per capita basis.

      Keep in mind that for EU citizens working in the UK, they already pay UK income tax, they pay sales tax, fuel tax, other taxes, and school tax if they have school-age children. Just like UK citizens.

      Eight hundred million per year, at 100 pounds per foreign national seems an easy figure to collect (even via automatic payroll deduction) which can do quite a lot of good in the UK.

      For starters! To finally ascertain exactly how many non-tourist foreigners are in the UK, for once!

      To me, that’s a hyper-important statistic that someone in the UK government dropped the ball on, many years ago. What were they thinking/smoking?!?!?!

      My final point is that by making the head tax too high, fraud and deception will become a problem. By keeping the price low, only a few will try to avoid it — and those are likely to be the problem people, IMHO.

      The extra money would be great, but not at the expense of losing track of a few thousand individuals who can ‘skate’ faster than the system can track them.

      In a perfect world, it would be nice to charge the expats enough to — not only cover their costs — but to make a 5% profit on the overall situation.

      Always gratified to read your comments here. Thanks again!

      Cheers, JBS

      • randyjw says:

        Well, here in the U.S., it costs the same amount, if not more, to house a jailed inmate compared to an annual salary earned. People would take advantage to use the medical system, but they haven’t paid long-term into taxes, like resident citizens would have. And, like I said, one medical incident pretty much wipes out way more than they’d contribute. I don’t find it sustainable in the long run; look at socialist/communist countries — their economies tank and leave them desititute. Cuba, Venezuela, etc. come to mind…

Leave a Comment...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: