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One in 10 EU citizens ‘considering leaving UK’ after June, survey finds

One in four EU citizens who took part in the survey felt they were not being treated equally, while 30% did not think their rights would be upheld - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

One in 10 EU nationals living in the UK are considering leaving before the deadline to get settled status, a new survey has found.

The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) found that some 10% of EU citizens are considering to move by June – the legal deadline by which EU nationals must apply for the EU settlement scheme.

The IMA is a new statutory body, set up as part of the EU withdrawal agreement, that monitors and protects the rights of EU citizens. 

It found that residents most likely to leave were Germans, Spanish or French men aged between 45 and 74.

MORE: 305,000 EU citizens in Home Office backlog as cliff-edge looms

Most live in the north-east or south-east of England and earn more than £50,000 a year.

The survey also found the largest majority of people who answered said they were leaving because they did not trust the government.

Meanwhile, one in four of nearly 3,000 respondents felt they were not being treated equally and 30% did not think their rights would be upheld.

One respondent said they believed the government might “go back on promised rights” and another said the “attitudes/statements” of elected officials had made them feel this way. 

Brexit was the next most common reason (11%), followed by “a general change in attitude towards European citizens” (9%), and a “hostile attitude” towards immigrants.

One person in the survey said it was not just politicians who made them feel unwelcome but the everyday people in their communities. “I feel the hostile environment. People are becoming more intolerant towards EU citizens,” they said. 

Recent Home Office figures, from Thursday, show that 5.42 million people in the country have applied for their right to keep living in the UK after June 30.