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 Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control) 3:44 pm, 5th November 2018

Citizens need clarity, and many are here in Parliament today precisely because they have not had it—and, I regret to say, still do not have it. Unilateral guarantees are welcome, but do not provide a complete answer. Do the Government support a ring-fencing of the citizens’ rights provisions in the withdrawal agreement, so that they can be enforced under international law even after a no deal? Is that not the most obvious and best solution to pursue? Has that been discussed at all in negotiations so far? If not, would those unilateral rights be totally unprotected from unilateral change via the immigration rules, and how would pension rights be protected, and rights to access healthcare, or mutual recognition of professional qualifications? Finally, if there is a no deal Brexit, will the scope and the rights set out for the settled status scheme be just as they are now, or would there be changes—for example, will those short of five years still be able to obtain pre-settled status, and how will people be able to challenge Home Office decisions?