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French-born journalist shares post-Brexit legal status fears

Hedi MehrezA second regional journalist born outside of the United Kingdom has raised concerns about how Brexit will affect his ability to work here.

Swindon Advertiser trainee reporter Hedi Mehrez, left, says the UK’s decision to leave the European Union could make it “harder” for him to settle in a country he says he “fell in love with” when he moved here from Paris three years ago.

Last month HTFP reported on how Bulgarian-born journalist Stela Gineva, who works for Reach plc’s titles in Kent, had shared her fears she may be deported as a result of Brexit.

In a piece sharing his feelings on the issue for the Advertiser, where he has worked since January, Hedi said he did not “regret my choice” to move to the UK but that Brexit had made it harder.

He wrote: “Why are you not going back to Paris? It’s a question that often comes up in conversations. But why would I leave the country I fell in love with? I spent years learning English, trying to settle here where I now have my closest friends.

“But Brexit has made it harder. Some I know were denied their right to stay in the UK, an outcome that none of them were expecting.

“The thought of moving to another country went through my mind after Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to end freedom of movement. I spent hours wondering what would happen to my legal status.”

“I am staying here because I do not want Brexit, something I never voted for, to determine my future. EU nationals have been squeezed out of important elections, including the general election that is set to happen on 12 December.

He added: “Being deprived of some of your rights and having to wait quietly until Brexit happens is frustrating.

“Do not get me wrong, I do not criticise the country as a whole. I have met amazing people through the years – even some who support Brexit. But let’s face it, the referendum has made it difficult for EU citizens to live in the UK.”

HTFP also reported earlier this year how Barcelona-born Wales Online journalist Estel Farell-Roig had said Brexit left her feeling like a “second class citizen”.

Estel received racist abuse after speaking out on the government’s ‘settled status’ process, which she described as “humiliating” and “insulting”.