EU and UK positions on citizens’ rights: First phase of Brexit negotiations

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Series Details July 2017
Publication Date July 2017
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Negotiations on the arrangements for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU started on 19 June 2017, with citizens’ rights being one of the top priorities.

However, the EU and the UK positions differ considerably. The EU aims at a withdrawal agreement which safeguards the existing right to residence as well as to equal treatment with nationals, including access to social security, for EU-27 citizens who have moved to the UK and for UK nationals resident in an EU-27 Member State prior to the withdrawal date. By contrast, the UK’s intention is to create new rights, detached from EU law, whose conditions will be governed by UK law.

The EU and UK positions also differ regarding the cut-off date which would govern the status of citizens. According to the EU, this should be the date of the UK’s actual withdrawal from the EU, whereas the UK has proposed to agree on an earlier date. Differences between the two positions can also be observed with regard to the conditions for family reunification and access to social security benefits.

Furthermore, whilst the EU proposes that the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) oversee compliance with the withdrawal arrangements by both the UK and the EU-27 Member States, the UK seeks enforceability of the citizens’ rights through the UK judicial system and rejects the jurisdiction of the CJEU.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Policy paper. Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, June 2017
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
European Commission: Publications: Position paper transmitted to the UK: essential principles on citizens' rights, June 2017
The Conversation: Tag: EU Citizens

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