Barbara Drozdowicz, who herself is now applying for a passport,?says she is disappointed with?the British government, which is refusing to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already in the UK.
Ms Drozdowicz, who is?director of the East European Advice Centre, said: “This is not what we would expect from the British state,?quite frankly.
“I mean this is not how Britain works and this is not the sort of values we would expect.?
“We are quite positive that everything will be fine, but on the other hand there is a high level of anxiety.”
With three million EU citizens living in the UK?even Vote Leave campaigners, ahead of the referendum, had said their futures should be secure in Britain.?
But the Government’s refusal to provide assurances has left many feeling unsettled.
Electrician Mirek Maciag has been here for 10?years, has a mortgage and a child in school and is also applying for citizenship.
He said: “It feels uncomfortable.?Me and most people I know have stopped spending money here.?
“Because if I have to leave I’m taking my money – I’m selling my house and I’m gone.?
“There is no clear information about what’s happening so we’re just waiting.?
“I’ve spent 10 years here and I’ve worked and paid taxes.?
“We’ve started the process of applying for citizenship to secure ourselves because at the moment who knows what’s going to happen.?
“It’s a big concern and people are panicking.
“I’m worried even if we get permission to stay it might be harder to live here.?
“No one knows but to avoid future problems the best way is to get citizenship.”
Bulgarian window cleaner Emanuil Petkov has created a life in Britain.
But like many other EU citizens living and working in the UK he is worried Brexit will affect his right to stay here and is also now applying for citizenship.
He said: “It make you scared to think someone can come and say ‘please leave our country’.”
The Government may be concerned that?status guarantees could encourage more EU citizens to move to the UK before the borders close.?
But critics fear those already here will be used as bargaining chips in the complex Brexit negotiations that lie ahead.
Before the referendum, Vote Leave gave unequivocal assurances that any new immigration system would not affect EU citizens already in the country.
“There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK,” it said.
It promised?on its website that such people would “automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present”.
There are more than a million British citizens living and working in the EU.?
The Government will want guarantees about their future in return for offering security to EU citizens living here.
Brexit Triggers Stampede For UK Citizenship – Sky News