As politicians negotiate and UK Border Agency staff prepare for what might come next, those who came here for new lives, jobs and even family share their fears over Brexit

They aren't just worried, they are scared.

They include Kim Stuyck, from Belgium, who has two British children. “You still hear of the Home Office making mistakes and refusing people’s status,” she said, “I asked whether because I have British children here, would that mean I was allowed to stay? They said it’s not a guarantee.”

Also scared is Elizabeth Bea, from Italy, who said: “If I applied for it and was rejected, I would lose my job. I’ve got a mortgage, I’ve got a child, and I’ve been with my employer for14 years. You feel very vulnerable and at risk.”

Katie Sharp’s mother is German and lives in the UK. “Fundamentally, we still have no idea what is happening,” she said. “Her life is here.”

Read more: Brexit voices: Why we chose to make Scotland home

Others worry that Brexit will affect their businesses. Sophie Maulevrier runs a tour company for visitors who, like her, are French. She said: “It’s had an effect on sales because people are just waiting for March to happen.”

Bernhard Blumenau, a German lecturer at St Andrews University, said: “We will see fewer bright EU students and staff come to UK universities”. Italian Professor Simone Baglione, whose research is funded by the EU, said: “Brexit opens up a great period of uncertainty.”

Dorota Peszkowska, who works with other migrants, said the last two years had felt like “the moment right before exam results are announced”.

The concern of Alessio Albanese, a 34-year-old, is the NHS. “As a researcher in Public Health, I feel strongly about universal health care free at the point of access,” he said.

Dutch Professor Matijn Steultjens, said Brexit was a “kick in the teeth” while Patrice Fabien, a French solicitor, said it was “the most selfish political act a nation has sought fit to impose on its citizens”.

As Prime Minister Theresa May last night left talks in Brussels still pursing a deal, up and down the country in all walks of life, uncertainty hangs in the air. 

Simone Gonella, an Italian waiter in Glasgow, believes Britain has left globalisation behind and is “thinking about itself”, and Nikolaj Gadegaard, from Denmark, agrees. “Collaboration should not have borders,” he said. For German Birte Riter-Millard, Brexit is the “epitome of xenophobia”. 

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Few ever thought Brexit could happen. Nick Siegrist, a German student in Edinburgh, is “baffled”; Javier Amigo, a Spanish vet, is “shocked”, and Dutch social worker Trisha Hall thought Brexit “would not have a hope in hell”.

Erik Meyer, a 32-year-old Dane, said his “heart sank, and it has remained in the pit of [his] stomach”. When Spaniard Noelia Yusta heard the result, she cried.

Dutch shop owner Trudy Duffy’s grandfather negotiated the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, an organisation of six European countries. “Many in the UK have little knowledge or understanding about the utopian origin of the EU,” she said.

Jeremie Fernandes, a French college librarian, said “it’s very apparent now it will be a no-deal Brexit,” but some were more optimistic.

Dr Vasilios Stouraitis, from Italy, said negotiations “will come to a solution that will benefit both sides”.

Dutch researcher Bregje van Veelen has “Brexit-proofed” herself with UK citizenship, but knows many others cannot. For German Professor Vera Kempe, Scots losing freedom to travel is the “biggest tragedy of all”.

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