There has been an insane increase in the number of Indian born Portuguese citizen migrants in Britain since 2012. Portuguese nationality law allows people born before Goa’s liberation on December 19, 1961, and their children, to opt for its citizenship, which makes them citizens of the European Union and thus eligible to migrate, live and work in any of the 28 countries of the EU. The figures have increased so much so that there are so many housed back down in Goa being locked up.

“There is some fear at the back of the mind due to Brexit, but that has not stopped more Goans from giving up Indian citizenship and applying for Portuguese nationality. Many Goans who have left and migrated to the UK say that the situation is bad in Goa, many don’t see a future there” said by Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, the Congress MLA from Curtorim who had visited London. Most of those leaving Goa are youngsters, they are not leaving out of love of London or Britain, but they do so because they just do not get jobs here or just that the job vacancies are falling too short here.  Some are scared about the future. Not only Catholics, but many Hindus have also opted for Portuguese passports and left.

The migration of Goans to Britain via Portuguese citizenship has led to demands that the Theresa May government stop the “loophole” that allows the alleged backdoor entry to the UK since most do not go to Portugal but migrate to Britain.

“Brexit was never really a concern to the Goans because, as you know they have migrated to various countries over the centuries, to Africa, Europe, UAE and elsewhere, said John Menezes a structural engineer from Panjim. The migrant Goans in the Uk have appeared in places such as Heathrow, Southall, and Hounslow, also more than half the goan are living in Swindon where many have found employment in the hospitality and retail sectors. However many of these Goans who have been in the Uk for several years, have started applying for British passports just to be on safer grounds.

Things turned upside down when the United kingdom shockingly voted to leave the EU on June 23, 2016, which took a toll on 3.2 million EU citizens, no community was affected more than the Goan community who had entered the country with Portuguese passports. The uncertain cause of the Brexit had a devastating impact on the lives of the EU citizens. 

Many times people back here begin to think that leaving here and moving out is a good option without really knowing that who those who left here feel like when they have left home. Many Goans in Britain will return home after working here. There have already been some examples of such Portuguese citizens returning to Goa, he said and refuted claims that Goans were living in miserable conditions in London and elsewhere.

Brexit will be a shock. We need to ensure that Goans living in the Uk know their rights and that they can continue to make the great contribution to their new homes.

Source: HT

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