Brexit materials—citizens’ rights pre-Phase 1 agreement

The following Immigration practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit materials—citizens’ rights pre-Phase 1 agreement
  • Pre-Phase 1 agreement materials: UK government documents and statements relating to Article 50 negotiations and EU citizens
  • Pre-Phase 1 agreement materials: EU documents relating to Article 50 negotiations and EU citizens
  • Pre-Phase 1 agreement materials: commentaries and reports on ‘acquired rights’ and protections for EEA nationals living in the UK
  • Brexit white paper and the EU (Withdrawal) Act
  • Crown Dependencies

Brexit materials—citizens’ rights pre-Phase 1 agreement

On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its European Union (EU) membership. A 51.9% majority voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU (‘Brexit’). On 29 March 2017, the UK government gave formal notification of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Under the terms of Article 50, unless the parties otherwise agree, the terms of the withdrawal must be agreed within two years, or the UK will leave the EU without agreement. One of the key issues that had to be resolved in the negotiations for the withdrawal agreement was securing the rights of residence of EU citizens currently living in the UK, and British citizens living in the other EU countries. Unless transitional arrangements are put in place, the automatic consequence of the UK’s leaving the EU might be that all EU-derived rights of residence would fall away.

On 8 December 2017, the UK and European Commission (Commission) negotiating teams reached agreement on key aspects of the citizens’ rights issue, such that (in conjunction with agreement on the other first phase issues), the Commission was able to recommend to the European Council that there had been ‘sufficient process’ to move on to the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, including as to whether

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