British people in the Netherlands greatly concerned about effects of Brexit

The more than 45,000 British people in the Netherlands are worried about the effects of Brexit on their situation. As many as 89% of them are concerned, according to a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and carried out by Kantar Public among 1,419 British respondents in the Netherlands.

The respondents are primarily concerned about their right to continue living, working or studying in the Netherlands (88%). The right to freedom of movement within the EU is also a matter of concern to 87%. Other causes for concern include possible customs formalities (67%), the ability to leave the Netherlands and remigrate at a later date (61%), dual nationality (55%) and implications for pensions (50%).

‘It’s understandable that Brexit is creating great uncertainty for these people,’ said foreign minister Stef Blok in response to the findings. ‘So I keep on stressing that the draft withdrawal agreement offers the best solution for everyone. But if it comes to a no-deal Brexit, British citizens in the Netherlands need to know where they stand. I’ll be providing more information about this very soon.’

Despite their great concern, only one in every three respondents indicated that they had started preparing for the possible consequences of Brexit. Seven out of ten have prepared to a small extent or not at all.

The vast majority wishes to remain in the Netherlands. Four out of five British nationals definitely intend to continue living, working or studying in this country in the future (81%). Another 15% indicated that they will probably stay. Six out of ten have been living in the Netherlands more than five years. The largest concentrations of British people are in Amsterdam and The Hague.

A relatively high number of British people in the Netherlands have a non-British partner: 38% have a partner with British nationality, while 40% have a partner with Dutch nationality. Another 13% have a partner with the nationality of another EU member state and 9% have a partner with the nationality of a non-EU member state. Approximately half of respondents are considering applying for Dutch nationality, with 10% saying they will definitely apply.

The findings of the survey correspond in part to those of the Kantar Public survey carried out in summer 2018 among Dutch people living in the United Kingdom. With more than 100,000 Dutch nationals living in the UK, 57% of those surveyed indicated that they were worried about the consequences of Brexit. Their main causes for concern were residence rights, possible customs formalities, pensions and access to healthcare. Around 22% of respondents were actively preparing for Brexit and around three quarters planned to continue living and working in the UK.