Brexit: As Britain leaves the EU, over 430,000 Romanians want to remain in the UK
Over 450,000 Romanian nationals live in the United Kingdom and over 95% of them have already applied for the EU Settlement Scheme that allows them to continue living and working in the country after Britain leaves the European Union (EU).
The European Parliament voted on Wednesday, January 29, the UK Withdrawal Agreement and Brexit is set to take place on Friday, January 31, 2020. However, no restrictions on the free movement of EU citizens in the UK will be imposed immediately, according to Romania’s Embassy in the UK.
“The first element I would like to mention, which concerns many of our fellow citizens, is that nothing changes in the regime of free movement, at least until December 31. The same types of documents are required for entering the UK, respectively the Romanian identity card or a passport,” Romania’s ambassador to UK Dan Mihalache said in an interview with the Romanian public radio.
“As for staying in the UK, respectively the benefits - the right to work, the right to social assistance - I encourage everyone who wants to settle here to apply for 'settled status' or 'pre-settled'. To be clear, this is a type of residence. The 'settled' resident status applies to those who have already been in the UK for five years, while the pre-settled status applies to those who have not yet turned five and who, after five years staying in the UK, will be able to apply for resident status as well,” the ambassador explained.
Over 435,000 Romanians already applied for the EU Settlement Scheme, expressing their intention to stay in the UK after Brexit, according to official statistics at the end of December 2019. Romanians are thus the second-largest group of EU citizens who applied for this scheme after the Poles (512,000 applications).
In total, the British authorities received over 2.75 million applications by the end of 2019, of which 2.45 million were already concluded, with 58% of the applicants receiving settled status and 41% - pre-settled status, Home Office statistics show.
Romanians who have not yet applied for the EU Settlement Scheme can do this even after Brexit, until June 30, 2021, according to Romania’s Embassy in the UK.
Romanians – the biggest group of non-British nationals in London
About 457,000 Romanian nationals are living in the UK, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released in November 2019. Romanians thus represent close to 0.7% of the kingdom’s total population (65.8 million), and 7.35% of the total number of non-British nationals (6.2 million).
The Romanians living and working in the UK represent about 2.4% of Romania's resident population and 5% of Romania's active population. Their number is similar to the population of the Iasi metropolitan area, the second-biggest in Romania.
Poles make the biggest group of non-British nationals in the UK, with 902,000 people (1.37% of the total population and 14.5% of the non-British population). Indians are third (351,000), followed by Irish (322,000), and Italians (297,000). More than 200,000 Portuguese and Lithuanians also live in the UK.
About 163,000 Romanian nationals are living in London, representing 1.82% of the city’s population of 8.94 million, according to official statistics. Moreover, Romanians represent the biggest group of non-British nationals in London (8% of the city’s non-British residents). The number of Romanians in London is thus similar or higher than the population of some medium cities in Romania, such as Arad, Pitesti, Sibiu or Bacau.
Poles are the second-biggest group of non-Brits in London (147,000), followed by Italians (138,000), Indians (131,000), French and Irish nationals (100,000 each).
(Photo source: Facebook)