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British nationals urged to sign up for Brexit Q&A meeting in Stockholm

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British nationals urged to sign up for Brexit Q&A meeting in Stockholm
Brits are being urged to get their paperwork in order before October 31st. Photo: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
08:48 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: The British Embassy is set to hold a town hall meeting on October 7th to answer questions UK nationals in Sweden have about their Brexit status.

"The British Embassy and the Migration Agency will hold a town hall for UK nationals in Sweden on the evening of October 7th to help you get ready for Brexit," said the embassy on Facebook.

The meeting will take place at Odenplan in central Stockholm between 5.30pm and 7pm, but the embassy said it would also be live-streamed on Facebook so that those based outside of the capital are able to listen.

People who want to attend should register via this link. Admission is free but spaces are limited.

READ ALSO: The Local's full Brexit coverage

The UK government launched a major information campaign earlier in September, urging UK nationals living in and travelling to the EU-27 to take steps to "get ready for Brexit" on October 31st.

In Sweden, it advised the almost 20,000 Brits living in Sweden without Swedish citizenship to 1) register as a resident in Sweden, 2) check their passport is valid for travel, and 3) exchange their UK driving licence for a Swedish one. More information, for what it's worth, is available on this page.

But much of what will happen to UK nationals in Sweden after a no-deal Brexit is still mired in uncertainty, and Brits have been calling on the Swedish government to clarify the rules.

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, EU member states and the UK have agreed on an 'implementation period', which is planned to last until December 31st, 2020. During this time, British citizens would retain their current rights as EU citizens.

READ ALSO: Essential no-deal Brexit checklist for Brits in Sweden

In the event of a no-deal exit, the Swedish government has passed legislation for a one-year 'grace period' during which Brits would retain their rights to live, work, study and access healthcare in Sweden, but after that, they would need residence permits. 

It is unclear whether current regulations around work and residence permits would apply (including requirements for certain income thresholds and workplace insurance), or whether the government would introduce new legislation to deal with the affected Brits.

The British Embassy has said the Migration Agency will "consider each application on a case by case basis, and make a judgment according to the circumstances of that case", but there are many scenarios for which the likely outcome is unclear.

A document published by the Brits in Sweden Facebook group and sent out to decision-makers last month said that "the message from politicians is also far from satisfactory. Hans Dahlgren, Sweden's EU Minister, said in March 2019 that Sweden at the time could not guarantee Brits' future [in Sweden] in the event of a no-deal Brexit," citing The Local's interview with the minister. 

When The Local spoke to EU Minister Dahlgren for a brief update in August, he said "it is serious that the risk of a hard Brexit has increased" but did not have any more information on how Sweden planned to treat British citizens living in Sweden once the one-year grace period was over.

"We have done what we need to do for those who are in Sweden now. What will happen to those who come here after the exit, I cannot comment on," he said.

First published on September 19th and updated on September 30th to add a sign-up link to the town hall meeting.

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