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World

Brits in Brussels consider their EU nationality

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Opening sequence

World

Brits in Brussels consider their EU nationality

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COMING UP:Brits in Brussels consider their EU nationality

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> They moved across the Channel to work for the EU institutions now at the heart of a fierce debate. Thousands of Brits working in Brussels could be about to see their lives change as the UK decides its future in the EU. Many here want to stay, but with the prospect of Brexit looming, some are even applying for Belgian or other European passports.
00:00:21
A leave vote in the UK on Thursday would present an unprecedented dilemma for overseas Brits. Reuters' Udit Misra says they don't know what to expect but that they don't want to take any chances.>> To be legally working for the EU institutions here in Brussels, such as the Commission, the European Parliament or the Council, employees need to be citizen of an official EU member state.
00:00:43
That means that in case the UK now votes to leave the European Union, the British people working in Brussels might lose their jobs and might lose the right to be working here.>> For now the European Civil Service has no clear plan should the UK decide to leave rather than remain.
00:01:00
That outcome could see British EU employees totally dependent on negotiations between London and Brussels in the coming years.>> If some agreement is reached after two years about how that exit will happen, I don't think any more British citizens will be employed in the institutions. But the existing ones have a contract.
00:01:18
So legally, I think that probably takes precedence.>> I certainly have been considering trying to look at my family background, if I get Irish citizenship or potentially Belgian citizenship. Because clearly, if there's an EU exit I won't be able to stay here.>> For the 2,000 or so Brits making up the EU's 55,000 strong workforce, Friday's final result will determine whether they can bank on future careers in the heart of Europe.