Leaving the Eu: Rights of EU Citizens

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:44 pm on 5th November 2018.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 3:44 pm, 5th November 2018

While we are confident about agreeing a good deal for both sides, as a responsible Government we will continue to prepare for all scenarios, including the unlikely outcome that we leave the EU without any deal in March 2019. We have reached an agreement with the EU on citizens’ rights that will protect EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK until the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.

We are introducing the EU settlement scheme under UK immigration law for resident EU citizens and their family members covered by the draft withdrawal agreement. That will enable those who are resident in the UK before the end of the planned implementation period to confirm their status under the settlement scheme. Anyone who already has five years’ continuous residence in the UK when they apply under the scheme will be eligible to apply for settled status. Those who have not yet reached the point of five years’ continuous residence will be eligible to be granted pre-settled status, and will be able to apply for settled status once they have reached that point.

The Prime Minister has already confirmed that, in the unlikely event of no deal, all EU citizens who are resident here by 29 March 2019 will be welcome to stay. They are part of our community and part of our country, and we welcome the contribution that they make. Last week the Prime Minister extended that commitment to citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and we are close to reaching an agreement with Switzerland. We will set out further details shortly, so that those affected can have the clarity and certainty that they need.