British ambassador John Marshall said that there would be no immediate change to the rights or status of British nationals living in the European Union
Photo: Mike Zenari
Brexit uncertainty for UK expats
British citizens in Luxembourg woke up to an uncertain future as news from the United Kingdom indicated that the Leave vote had won the day in the referendum on remaining or leaving the European Union.
Social media was flooded on Friday morning with messages from British residents of the Grand Duchy expressing shock, anger and sadness at Thursday's decision in favour of Brexit. Many have said they will now apply for Luxembourg citizenship.
Even prior to the vote on Thursday officials in the Grand Duchy had reported an increase in 2016 in the number of British citizens applying for dual nationality, though the number is fewer than 100 and the spike may also be explained by the result of the 2015 Luxembourg referendum on allowing foreigners the right to vote.
British ambassador John Marshall said that there would be no immediate change to the rights or status of British nationals living in the European Union, but that in the longer term new conditions would be considered as part of the negotiations that the UK will have with the other 27 members of the union.
Official Luxembourg reaction is expected later today, but some local politicians were also expressing astonishment at the referendum result. “Shocked! Time to re-think the European dream!” wrote Green party member of parliament Viviane Loschetter on Facebook.
Family and integration minister Corinne Cahen posted: “Europe wakes up under shock” She then wrote in reply to comments, “All of the consequences are not yet known. And what happens when the next one [country] leaves? And the next?”