EU expats in UK may be protected by human rights laws

Published:  23 Mar at 6 PM
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According to a report by a group of Spanish lawyers, the European Convention on Human Rights may give EU expats in the UK freedom to remain.

In an address to the EU parliament, legal experts from Spain said Brexit might result in EU citizens making use of existing human rights laws to gain the right to remain in the UK. Spanish professors at law believe that property rights and the right to family life enshrined in the ECHR may be the get-out clause which prevents the UK from forcing expatriation after Brexit.

The Convention’s law would apply to EU citizens arriving in the UK after the cut-off date, allowing them to remain after showing proof they have genuine roots in the country. Two experts in EU law, Antonio Fernandez Tomas and Diego Lopez Garrido, both from the University of Castilla La Mancha, prepared the report after a request for clarification by members of the European Parliament.

The conclusion of the report was that the massive loss of human rights following Britain’s exit from the EU would include pension rights, family connections, the right to work and much more, creating a legal nightmare expected to take years to resolve. According to Professor Garrido, those likely to be affected could use the European Convention on Human Rights’ ruling in the courts in defence of property and family rights.

Garrido stressed the importance of negotiations to ensure expats’ positions post-Brexit are as close as possible to the present situation for both EU expats living in the UK and UK expatriates living in EU member states. The revelation is likely to cause major problems with British PM Theresa May’s insistence of a ‘cut-off date’ for EU citizens in the UK.

The PM’s original plan was to use the date of triggering Article 50 as a deadline for EU expats’ registration of their right to live in the UK, but was changed recently to coincide with the end of negotiations clarifying rights to remain for UK citizens in Europe.

Source: Olive Press
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