Saturday

18th Aug 2018

UK pledges easy registration for EU citizens after Brexit

  • Most EU citizens would be able to remain in the UK after Brexit, London says (Photo: Guled Ahmed)

The British government on Tuesday (7 November) promised a streamlined process to help most EU citizens currently living in Britain remain after Brexit in 2019.

The UK published a paper setting out the details on how it wants to register the around three million EU citizens and their families after Brexit.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU is one of the key issues in Brexit talks.

The paper says that EU citizens and their families who can prove to UK authorities that they lawfully resided before the yet-to-be specified Brexit cut-off date, must be granted "settled status" by the British authorities for after Brexit.

"Caseworkers considering applications will be able to use their discretion where appropriate, meaning those applying to stay in the UK after we leave the EU will not have their applications refused for minor technicalities. We expect the majority of cases to be granted," the UK home office and the department for exiting the EU said in a statement.

Describing plans for the mass registration process, the UK said it would give a two-year 'grace period' after Brexit to apply for the settled status. EU citizens are encouraged to start voluntarily registering after the first phase of Brexit talks is over.

Conditions for refusals will have to be specified in the withdrawal agreement, the paper says.

Those who have lived in the UK for less than five years, the period required for permanent residency, will get a temporary status until they reach the five-year mark.

The UK pledged ahead of this week's Brexit negotiations that the costs of the application will be no more than that of a British passport, attempting to dispel fears that the process will be disproportionately expensive for EU citizens.

The UK would not require citizens who are self-employed, economically not active, or studying to hold a comprehensive sickness insurance, a difficult and costly administrative procedure to go through.

No biometric data will be required, such as fingerprints, EU citizens will only need to submit a photograph.

EU citizens will have the right to appeal at UK courts if their application is rejected, but the policy paper makes no mention of the European Court of Justice, which the EU insists should be the final guarantor of citizens' rights.

The UK government says that the new system for applying for a "settled status" will be "streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly".

"We will support everyone wishing to stay to gain settled status through a new straightforward, streamlined system," the UK's Brexit secretary David Davis said Tuesday in a statement.

The policy paper adds that there would be security checks on EU citizens, and those with criminal records or who pose a "threat to public order or security" might be booted out.

The EU has advocated for a cheap and easy-to-use system for EU citizens to apply for residency after Brexit.

A group representing EU citizens in the UK, the3million, said they still object to the settled status, and to criminality checks. The group expressed concern on Twitter that the appeal process is unclear, while the cut-off date for EU citizens has still not been confirmed.

Brexit talks to resume next week

UK and EU officials will get together next Thursday to try to achieve "sufficient progress" by December on key issues for unlocking the next phase of negotiations.

EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks

The EU has launched internal preparations for phase two of Brexit talks, but a December breakthrough only possible if UK gives more detail on divorce issues first.

Visual Data

Citizens' rights: where EU and UK differ

The rights of 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK and 1.2 million UK nationals living in EU countries is one of the key issues of the Brexit talks.

News in Brief

  1. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants
  2. Merkel confronts far-right critics: '2015 will not be repeated'
  3. UN: Predictable disembarkation process urgently needed
  4. Slovenia set to select former comedian as prime minister
  5. Polish president to veto election rule helping big parties
  6. MEPs blast UK 'alphabetical approach' on citizens rights
  7. EU hits back over Salvini's blame for bridge collapse
  8. Poll: Sweden's social democrat-led government set to win again

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  2. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  3. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life
  4. Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs
  5. Building a Europe more resilient to terrorism
  6. Brexit talks resume as chance of 'no deal' put at 50:50
  7. US trial sheds light on murky Cyprus-Russia links
  8. Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us