EU nationals in UK face threats from government

The Obsever reports: The Home Office is warning EU nationals held in detention centres that they should leave the UK to “avoid becoming destitute”, in the latest instance of a hardened tone towards citizens from European countries.

A government letter, written on behalf of home secretary Amber Rudd and seen by the Observer, also advises EU nationals that they should consider leaving because they have the “right to travel freely across the EU and can visit, live, study and in most cases work in any other EU member state” – an observation that appears to preempt the UK’s departure from the union.

The letter, dated 18 October and written by officials from the Home Office’s immigration section, tells a Romanian national in an immigration detention centre that his request for emergency accommodation has been rejected and he should consider another country. It states: “You could avoid becoming destitute by returning to Romania or another EU member state where you could enjoy access to all your ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights] without interference.”

The ECHR protects the human rights and freedoms of individuals in 47 countries belonging to the Council of Europe and prohibits a range of unfair and harmful practices.

Detentions and enforced removals of EU citizens from the UK have risen sharply since the Brexit vote, prompting critics to claim that the Home Office is deliberately targeting EU nationals as part of the “hostile environment” Theresa May pledged for those she believes should not be in the country. [Continue reading…]

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