EU demands lifetime protection for all expats rights

Published:  24 May at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
The EU is demanding a lifetime guarantee of rights for all expats affected by Brexit.

The demand was made as part of the EU’s negotiation directives, and is focused on the rights and status of all expat citizens and their families, both in the UK and in the 27 EU member states. Safeguarding those likely to be affected due to circumstances beyond their control is essential, according to the directive, due to the high numbers of expats involved and the seriousness of the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal.

According to Louis Grech, president of the EU Council, the bloc’s position on the issue has been established since talks began, with citizens’ rights placed at the top of the EU’s agenda. Our position, he said, is to aim for an ambitious result in that all expats affected, whether in the UK or in EU member states, will continue enjoying their reciprocal rights. The ruling, he added, should be vested for life and enforceable by law. Simple, smooth and swift procedures for the issuing of residence permits should be undertaken by every country involved, including the UK.

The EU document states rights to be preserved include those due at a later date such as pensions as well as rights already enjoyed. The given example was a Briton living in France for the two years following Brexit day should be able to claim permanent residency three years later. Full rights to pensions for former expats now living in their countries of birth are to be protected, in addition to rights involving both economically inactive and active family members joining former expats at any time before or after a full Brexit is enacted.

Importantly, the definition of rights should take in rights and residence from free movement through accessing healthcare, exportable pensions, benefits under social security coordination rulings, access to the labour market, the running of businesses and the rights of family members to training and education. In addition, qualifications accepted before Brexit should continue to be recognised after the date of withdrawal. The negotiation directives signed off by the EU Council are now the main blueprint for the Brexit negotiations due to begin after the UK election on 8 June, and answer concerns raised at a meeting of MEPs and campaigners last week.

The broadness of rights safeguarding seems to suggest the possibility of UK citizens retaining some form of EU citizenship, although the legalities of such a move could prove to be tricky. In that case, a special status including most of the benefits might be possible. Whilst UK expats living and working in EU member states may well see the directives as giving some hope, it should be remembered they are the EU’s considered stance, to which Theresa May must respond positively before any progress can be made. Also, the points raised in the paper will not come up for discussion until after the ‘Brexit bill’ has been settled.

Source: The Connexion newspaper, France
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive