A policy paper has been published by the Government which outlines what action will be taken to protect citizens’ rights if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
As the UK edges ever closer to a possible “no deal” Brexit, the Government has published a policy paper which aims to set out what will happen both to EU citizens living in the UK, and UK citizens living in the EU, if this outcome transpires.
Some of the main points confirmed in the paper, and the crucial difference with the previous position include:
- the UK would continue to run the EU Settlement Scheme but only for those EU nationals and their family members resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 (rather than 31 December 2020)
- EU citizens would have until 31 December 2020 (rather than 31 June 2021) to apply for status under the scheme
- until 31 December 2020, EU citizens could rely on their passport or national ID card to evidence their right to reside in the UK
- the UK would continue to honour the right of those who obtain settled status under the scheme to be able to leave the UK for up to five years without losing their right to return
The most concerning issue for EU nationals will be the significant reduction in the timeframes available to them under the settled scheme.
The paper, unsurprisingly, does not give any commitments regarding the rights of UK citizens living in the EU but simply calls upon on the EU to ensure that this group is offered some protection in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.
The paper also calls on the EU and Member States to offer protection for the rights of UK nationals living in the EU in the event of a no-deal scenario.