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Brussels Brits consider nationality over EU vote

Monday, June 20, 2016 - 01:26

British employees of EU institutions in Brussels face uncertainty over their jobs ahead of Britain's in-out referendum over its membership of the European Union. Sara Hemrajani reports

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They've moved across the Channel and are hoping to stay there... But Thursday's EU membership vote could change the lives of thousands of Brits working in Brussels. With the prospect of Brexit looming, some are even applying for Belgian or other European passports. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT IN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, ROBERT BOYLE, SAYING: "I certainly have been considering trying to look at my family background, if I can get Irish citizenship, or potentially Belgian citizenship. Because clearly, if there's an EU exit, I won't be able to stay here." The precaution may seem extreme but the uncertainty is weighing on these Eurocrats. For now, the European civil service has no clear plan should the UK decide to "Leave", not "Remain". That outcome could see British EU employees totally dependent on negotiations between London and Brussels in the coming years. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRISH EUROPEAN COMMISSION EMPLOYEE, BREFFNI LYNCH, SAYING: "I think what will probably happen is that, if they leave, and if some agreement is reached after two years about how that exit will happen, I don't think any more British citizens will be employed in the institutions but the existing ones have their contracts, so legally I think that probably takes precedence." For the 2,000 or so Brits making up the EU's 55,000-strong workforce, Friday's final result will determine whether they can bank on future careers in the heart of Europe.

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Brussels Brits consider nationality over EU vote

Monday, June 20, 2016 - 01:26