UK based EU expats may end up in legal limbo post-Brexit

Published:  28 Mar at 6 PM
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EU expatriates living and working in the UK may not now be covered by previous assurances regarding their rights.

European member state citizens may be stripped of their rights to housing, social security and freedom of movement post-Brexit, according to a parliamentary report. In spite of assurances by government that all EU citizens in the UK would have their rights enshrined, a report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is warning some three million European expats in the UK might be relegated to a state of legal limbo.

According to reports, the JCHR, comprised of parliamentarians from both the lower and upper Houses of Parliament, are now arguing EU citizens’ rights should be ring-fenced by legislation rather than relying on laws approved later by ministers. It’s not just EU citizens’ rights that are at risk, as the rights of Irish nationals in the UK may also be affected, even although they’re at present guaranteed by separate agreements. For example, those living in the UK and wishing to bring in a non-EU citizen spouse may well face problems.

Chair of the JCHR and prominent parliamentarian Harriet Harman has stated human rights protection for citizens of EU member states living in the UK must not be taken away as a result of Brexit, however it ends. These rights, she adds, are part of the lives of people who’ve lived in the UK for years or even decades, paying taxes and social security and contributing to society in general. Many, she says, were actually born in the UK and lived here all their lives. Harman is convinced promises are not enough at this late stage as all rights for resident EU citizens must now be guaranteed via a law passed by the British parliament.
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