EU nationals already being denied mortgages 'due to Brexit'

French official Patricia Connell reports banks have started turning down housing loan applications from non-UK passport holders just a day after Article 50 triggered

Tom White
Thursday 30 March 2017 16:39 BST
Thousands protested against Brexit in London last weekend
Thousands protested against Brexit in London last weekend (AFP/Getty)

EU citizens living in Britain are being denied mortgages because of the uncertainty of whether they will be allowed to stay after Brexit, according to a French official.

Patricia Connell, a French national who has lived in Britain for 30 years, said she has already heard of banks refusing to grant loans.

She also claimed some employers are breaking discrimination laws by only offering EU citizens fixed-term contracts if they cannot provide proof of permanent residency.

Ms Connell, who holds joint British citizenship and is married to an Englishman, runs the website France In London and is an elected delegate of the French consulate in the capital.

“We know the banks are already turning down people for mortgages when they don’t have permanent residency, because they don’t know if the people are going to be allowed to stay here,” she said.

“They don’t want to take the risk, so that is already happening.

“And even though it’s not legal we are also hearing of employers asking for proof of permanent residency, and if you can’t show that they just give you a fixed-term contract.

“Not everyone is doing it but we have heard cases where it is happening even though it’s not legal.”

Aside from jobs, she is fearful that people without permanent residency will be denied access to the NHS.

Ms Connell has been involved in speaking at events for EU citizens, advising them on what Brexit could mean.

This has been linked to The3Million campaign, a not-for-profit group which is campaigning to safeguard the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

She said: “In an ideal world we would all be allowed to stay here without having to show we have been lawfully here, and that is what we have been campaigning for.

“But we are also asking the Government to make it much simpler to apply for a permanent residence card.

“The process needs to be simplified – rather than having an 85-page document, it should be like Germany, where it is just four pages.”

Press Association

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