Denmark U-turns on Brexit deportation threat to Britons living there
The Danish government has backtracked on a Brexit-related deportation threat for British nationals living in the country.
New laws, due to go through parliament in spring, will be brought in to allow British nationals living in Denmark before Brexit more time to apply for residency status.
The laws will apply to between 300 and 2,000 Britons who had not been informed or did not know they had to apply to stay in the country by 31 December 2021.
Last November, the Danish government identified that 290 British citizens had made late applications, with many claiming they had not received the correct communication from Siri, the Danish immigration authority. However, the number of Britons affected could be closer to 1,800, according to local reports.
Philip Russell, who received a removal order last May after he missed the original deadline by four days, said the new laws are “long overdue”.
“Many people will have had their applications rejected and [been] intimidated into leaving and going back to the UK. There will be a massive cost to that, they will have left jobs, possibly families,” he told The Guardian.
Will Hill returned to the UK and applied to re-enter Denmark on a work visa after he received a removal order last year.
Mr Hill was entitled to live in Denmark under the withdrawal agreement, but after a deportation threat, a visa seemed the only way he could be with his fiancee, now wife, and return to work.
He told the newspaper that the new laws =were a “huge relief”, and would give him “many more working rights”.
“It feels right that they have reversed the decision and accepted that errors were made,” said Mr Hill.
The Danish immigration minister, Kaare Dybvad Bek, said in a statement: “I am really happy that we have found this solution. It has always been the government’s intention to make it easy and flexible for the British citizens living here to stay in Denmark. There are some who did not manage to apply, and we would like to give them an extra chance.”
More than 2,250 British citizens have been ordered to leave European Union countries since the end of the Brexit transition period, Eurostat data revealed in January.