More Portuguese families leave UK over Brexit uncertainty
Continued uncertainty over the status of Portuguese nationals living and working in the United Kingdom and fears of economic collapse are leading more and more Portuguese citizens to leave the UK.
And despite UK and Portuguese government assurances for the 400,000-strong Portuguese community in the UK, many Portuguese continue to be apprehensive about their futures and status in the UK after March this year.
Not only do they fear an overall hostile environment for immigrants, they also have doubts that the current deal forged by Theresa May will ever be accepted by the British Parliament when it votes on the current deal next week.
Paulo Costa of the movement “United Migrants” says, “We feel that we will face an environment that is less pleasant than when we arrived here some years ago.”
The Portuguese group has set up a pan-European platform across Europe and say that while an agreement has not been approved by the British parliament they cannot breath a sigh of relief.
“What worries me is the fragility of this agreement” says Nuno Pereira from the platform “Portuguese in Europe”. “It’s not a definitive agreement, it could be turned down by the British parliament and there are no certainties about what will happen.”
“I am one of these people who thinks that an agreement signed by the 27 member states will now be defeated in the UK parliament” says Júlio Cunha of “Portuguese in Europe” adding, “I think there could even be a second referendum.”
According to a report from the Emigration Observatory on financial transfers to Portugal by Portuguese émigré communities living overseas, the United Kingdom continued to be the main destination of the 90,000 Portuguese citizens who went to live and work abroad in 2017 but the UK was seeing less numbers of new Portuguese immigrants because of Brexit.
“We suddenly felt that we were no longer welcome in the United Kingdom and fears over the economy going down also had a large impact on our decision to sell up and leave Britain,” says Carlos and Anabela Gonçalves who have lived in London for 25 years and have now decided to sell up and open a cake shop in Lamego.