Stark Brexit warning to Polish residents in Lancashire

Poland's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Arkady Rzegocki
Poland's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Arkady Rzegocki
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Poland's ambassador to the UK, who has written a letter to 800,000 Poles advising them to "seriously consider" returning to their home country, has said he is concerned about the settled-status application process.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Arkady Rzegocki said of the procedure: "It is straightforward but we are concerned about this process a little.

"42% of EU citizens who have had applied to achieve settled-status have had problems. Many have received pre-settled status.

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"Many people do not realise they have to register as they have lived here for many years ... even if they have resident status, they still have to register."

Mr Rzegocki continued: "There are quite a lot of problems with people trying to receive settled status. People who have been here five or 10 years have also had problems."

Mr Rzegocki continued: "Poland and the Polish economy is growing, life standards are improving - they are much different compared to five to ten years ago.

"I think it is a very good opportunity to come back to Poland. I think you can achieve your goals in both Britain and Poland."

Mr Rzegocki said that while there is still time to apply to the settled-status scheme, he expects those who want to will have done so already, adding: "On one hand there is still a lot of time to apply, on the other hand because of Brexit it is better to achieve settled status soon."

When questioned on how many Poles may choose to go back, Mr Rzegocki said: "It is difficult to predict. Last year 116,000 left the country. There are still about a million here but you can see there is a discussion being had.

"We are doing the best to keep our relationship as close as possible as there is a long friendship between our countries."