The latest round of negotiations between the UK and EU concluded yesterday in Brussels.
Progress was made on several fronts – including on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU.
On healthcare, for example, we agreed to protect the rights to reciprocal healthcare, including European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs), for EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU who are present on the day of exit.
Both sides also agreed that the rights of cross border workers should be protected.
On economic rights, we have confirmed the right of EU citizens to set up and manage a business in the UK, and the same applies to British citizens in their Member State of residence.
These points of agreement are good news but the discussions also highlighted where more work is needed.
This includes several areas where the UK wants to go further than the EU, such as posted workers (raised in the July round) and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The UK will also continue to seek clarification on how the EU’s stance on various issues would work in practice and be implemented within the EU27.
The next round of negotiations in September will build on progress to date with a view to reaching a future agreement on citizens’ rights. This table provides a comparison of the EU-UK positions on citizens’ rights and where outstanding issues remain.
As Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis said yesterday, the UK government remains absolutely committed during the negotiation process to delivering the best outcome for the people of the EU and the UK.
We also recognise that EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU would like certainty about future arrangements as soon as possible.
Please visit Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know for further details about the government’s proposal to protect the position of EU citizens in the UK – and UK nationals in the EU – published on 26 June. It contained these commitments:
- EU citizens with settled status will continue be treated as if they were UK nationals for education, healthcare, benefits, pensions and social housing after we leave the EU.
- No EU citizen currently in the UK lawfully will be asked to leave at the point we leave the EU. EU citizens will have at least two years to regularise their status.
- The process to apply for settled status will be streamlined and user friendly, including for those who already hold a permanent residence document under current free movement rules. We expect the system to be up and running in 2018.
As the negotiations in Brussels progress, our advice to EU citizens remains the same: you do not need to apply for documentation confirming your status now.
The rights of EU citizens have not changed. Last week, around 100 EU citizens received letters in error stating they were liable for removal from the UK. For the avoidance of doubt, these letters were sent in error and will have caused understandable distress. The Department has apologised to the individuals affected and they are being reassured that they should disregard the letters. The Home Office statement is here.
We will continue to keep you up to date on the negotiations and wider citizens’ rights issues over the coming months.
Home Office Communications