British Nationals Abroad: EU Countries

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Labour, Slough

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which EU countries (a) have and (b) have not yet implemented arrangements equivalent to the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme to enable UK citizens to obtain leave to remain in their EU country of residence.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State

Protecting the rights of both British Nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the United Kingdom is an absolute priority for this government. Should we leave the EU with a deal, Member States must implement a system for British Nationals to secure their residency rights. This could be a constitutive system like the EU Settlement Scheme, or a declaratory system. Existing rules and regulations relating to Citizens’ Rights will continue to apply until the end of the Implementation Period.

In the event of No Deal, all Member States have now enacted or drafted legislation to protect British Nationals' rights, including residency rights. However, the processes, timeframes and criteria for registering and applying for residency vary significantly by Member State. We are engaging intensively with Member States, asking them to reciprocate fully the United Kingdom's guarantee to EU citizens. We are also urging Member States to ensure robust implementation and effective communication of their plans. We encourage British Nationals living in the wider EU to subscribe to their relevant Living in Guide on gov.uk for up-to-date information on the steps they need to take to get ready for Brexit.

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