European Union Citizenship

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 2:49 pm, 7th March 2018

I am going to move on to the points the hon. Member for Arfon made, and perhaps Jonathan Edwards will indulge me by allowing me to get there.

As I was about to say, during the implementation period, which will be time-limited, people will be able to come to the UK to live and work as they do now, and this will be reciprocal, meaning UK nationals will also be able to travel to live and work in the EU.

Last week, the Home Secretary published a position paper setting out that EU citizens arriving during the implementation period should be able to work towards settlement in the UK. People arriving during this period should not have the same expectations as those who arrived during our membership of the EU, but it is right that we set out the rules that will apply to these individuals when this period ends, to provide them with the certainty they need. These rights will be enforceable in UK law, and we will not seek to include them in the withdrawal agreement; however, we will discuss this with the Commission in the coming weeks.

Turning more broadly to the question of EU citizenship, the Government have been clear that our membership of the EU will end on 29 March 2019. We are content to listen to proposals from the EU on associate citizenship for UK nationals. However, to date this has not been formally proposed to the UK in the negotiations. EU treaty provisions state that only citizens of EU member states are able to hold EU citizenship. Therefore, when the UK ceases to be a member of the European Union, UK nationals will no longer hold EU citizenship unless they hold dual nationality with another member state.