“There are concerns about what would happen, if the British people voted in the referendum to leave the EU. The status of [Lithuanians] who reside here would be put into question,” Zita Čapaitė, leader of the Lithuanian community in London, tells BNS.
In the case of Brexit, Lithuanians in Britain might be faced with a dilemma: keep their Lithuanian citizenship or seek naturalization in the UK.
Čapaitė says that Lithuanian migrants do care about the British government’s proposals to cut certain benefits, but they are reassured by guarantees that it would only apply to new arrivals.
The European Council is starting a meeting on Thursday to discuss Britain’s proposals for reform in the European Union. PM David Cameron has also promised a referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU.
One of the points London is making is that it should be allowed to restrict certain in-work and childcare benefits for newly-arrived EU migrants.
There are about 100,000 Lithuanian nationals residing in England, according to census data from 2011. Čapaitė says that the actual number could be “twice as big”.