AN Oxfordshire councillor has said European citizens will be in legal limbo after Brexit as a result of the government’s current policies.

Alexandrine Kantor, who is French, said about 2.6 million European citizens are being subjected to an overly complicated system to get permission to stay in the UK.

The South Oxfordshire district councillor said EU citizens who did not obtain the right documentation for settled status could be subjected to worse treatment than some members of the Windrush generation suffered from the Home Office.

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Ms Kantor said the government had so far offered ‘warm words’ but nothing else, and warned that its policies were ‘reckless and xenophobic politics'.

Worry for some European citizens has become more acute ahead of Brexit after Home Secretary Priti Patel said free movement would end immediately on October 31.

She said a previously proposed transition period will now not be implemented.

The Wheatley councillor added: “This is a hostile environment…it is very unsettling.”

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European citizens, along with others from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, must all apply for the status to stay after June 2021. The government said some people may be able to stay without applying, including some Irish citizens and those with indefinite leave to remain.

Ms Kantor added: “I have a French passport and showing it at the border doesn’t show that I’ve been here for five years.

“The Vote Leave campaign said they would never change the EU status. It’s completely unsettling.”

The Liberal Democrat said she was particularly upset by Conservative politicians, many of whom she thought would feel uncomfortable with current policies and a probable no-deal Brexit.

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She said: “How long must it go on that [councillors realise] it’s not what they got into politics for? I think that by keeping [their party membership] they’re allowing it to happen. Are they comfortable with the decision?”

About a million EU citizens have now applied for settled status, but many are still uncertain how officials will be able to distinguish between Europeans who live in the UK now and those who arrive after October 31.