Dutch urged to revise laws on dual nationality by Brexit-hit expats

Netherlands and UK Badges Background - Pile of Dutch and British Flag Buttons 3D Illustration
Netherlands and UK Badges Background – Pile of Dutch and British Flag Buttons 3D Illustration

Dutch nationals living in Britain and British expats in the Netherlands have urged the Dutch government to make good its pledge to modernise the law on dual nationality.

Representatives of the two groups made their pleas to members of parliament’s Europe committee on Thursday at a special session on the impact of Brexit.

‘We hear a lot about trade and business but not much about citizen’s rights,’ Hedwig Hegtermans, of The Three Million lobby group told MPs.

Dutch nationals who want to remain in Britain are concerned that their children in particular may be hit by the ban on having two passports.

For example, the children of Dutch nationals who grow up in the UK will have to pay the very high fees facing foreign students if they want to go to a British university and are not officially British.

Sarah Parkes, of the Dutch-based Brexpats Hear our Voice group, said UK nationals will lose their right to free movement throughout Europe, which is essential for some jobs. ‘We were dismayed by the referendum result and a lot us did not even have a vote,’ she told MPs.

Christian Democrat MP Peter Omzigt told the committee he had not realised that Brexit was proving so complicated for residents.  And, ending the session, the committee’s chairman Malik Azmani said: ‘I thought it was all organised [when it comes do citizens rights]. But it is clearly not.’

The new government includes a commitment to reform the laws on dual nationality but as yet, no concrete steps have been taken.

A justice ministry spokesman told DutchNews.nl earlier this week ‘no announcements’ can be made about the contents, shape and time-line for changing dual nationality legislation.

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