British EU-based expats claim more benefits than those in UK

More British expats living in other EU countries are claiming unemployment benefits than the number of immigrants from those countries doing likewise in the UK, a new report shows.

According to research carried out by The Guardian newspaper, which gathered responses from 23 of the 27 other EU nations, there are at least 30,000 British nationals claiming unemployment benefit across the Union.

The report reveals that there are 23,011 Britons living in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, France and Ireland who are claiming welfare state benefits. Conversely, nationals from those nine EU countries account for just 8,720 benefits claimants in UK.

What’s more, the number of Britons claiming benefits in Germany, the most popular EU country for expats, easily outnumbers the amount of Germans receiving welfare in the UK (6,022 compared to 1,470).

However, the survey also shows that the number of Italians, Spanish and Portuguese out of work in the UK far outnumbers the unemployed Britons in those countries by 13,580 to 5,670, while those from many Eastern European countries are also far more likely to claim benefits in the UK compared to Brits living there. For example, there is only one British expat claiming unemployment benefit in Poland, compared to 14,880 Poles receiving the same aid in the UK (although it’s worth remembering that there are also many, many more Poles living in Britain than there are Brits living in Poland).

However, Roxana Barbulescu, researcher on international migration at the University of Sheffield, told The Guardian that she did not think the report’s findings were particularly concerning. “Thirty thousand people, or 2.5 per cent of all British nationals, in other EU member states means that the overwhelming majority of Brits abroad as well as European citizens in Britain are not an undue burden for the countries in which they live.”