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Patel: British citizens being denied access to benefits in EU

A pro-European Union protester outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Photo by Luciana Guerra?PA Media

By Alexander Britton, PA

Some UK nationals living in the EU post-Brexit have been denied access to benefits and services, Priti Patel has claimed.

The Home Secretary has called on EU nations to uphold their obligations towards UK nationals “just as the UK has done for EU citizens in the UK”.

She was writing in The Daily Telegraph on the fifth anniversary of the Brexit referendum and a week before the cut-off of the UK’s EU settlement scheme.

Ms Patel said the scheme had been a “success” and was “very generous” compared to those on offer in European Union member states.

She wrote: “Our EU Settlement Scheme has been open for more than two years. Many EU countries have an application window of 12 months or less, France’s is currently open for less than nine months.”

She also spoke of problems that UK nationals had experienced, writing: “We are aware that some UK nationals in the EU have faced disruption on boarding and entry to the EU; and there have been a number of reported instances of UK nationals in the EU being asked for residence documents they do not need to hold, being prevented from accessing benefits and services, and having trouble with their right to work.

“It is only right that the EU uphold their obligations on citizens’ rights, just as the UK has done for EU citizens in the UK.”

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