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Almost 35,000 Britons in limbo as Portugal fails to issue post-Brexit ID cards

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theguardian.com

British nationals living in Portugal are unable to access healthcare, change jobs, or travel in and out of the country as its ministers have not issued them with post-Brexit residency cards, it has emerged.The UK government has raised the issue at ministerial level and urged Portugal to implement fully the withdrawal agreement and protect the rights of the 34,500 Britons who made the country their home before Brexit.People have been left detained at airports, paying to have broken bones treated or risked losing their jobs due to the delays in getting a biometric card that is vital to everyday life and proves their legal status.Under the UK-EU withdrawal agreement, British citizens in Portugal were guaranteed their social and employment rights would be protected.

However, the Portuguese government has yet to provide the biometric residency cards.Instead, a temporary document and QR code has been issued, which Britons say is not recognised locally or at international borders.James Campbell, a computer programmer, said: “I am feeling more like an illegal immigrant at the moment.” He listed 25 things that had happened to him because of the lack of documentation, including a £4,000 private hospital bill for a broken limb because he could not access state healthcare.A British-South-African couple living just outside Lisbon told how they were detained in Frankfurt airport without correct post-Brexit residency documentation, and are now being accused of criminal breach of immigration laws as well as a near €4,000 (£3,375) bill for new flights to get back to Portugal.The husband, who did not wish to be named due to ongoing legal action, said: “We were in transit and when we were going to the gate for the Seychelles we were taken

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