EU to limit UK expat residency rights post Brexit - minister

Added 9th August 2017

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davies has revealed that the European Union plans to restrict the residency rights of British expats living within the bloc once the UK leaves.

EU to limit UK expat residency rights post Brexit - minister

Britons living in the EU after Brexit will only have the right to stay in the country where they are resident when the exit happens in March 2019, the minister told UK lawmakers.

Davis revealed the EU’s stance in a letter to the House of Lords EU Committee on Wednesday while updating the members on the government’s recent round of negotiations, according to media reports of the meeting.

“The EU has confirmed that their offer only guarantees residence rights in the Member State in which a British national was resident at the point of our exit from the EU,” he wrote in the letter.

“It does not guarantee the holder of those residence rights any right to onward movement within the EU, for example to work or study in a neighbouring Member State.

This means that while a Spanish citizen living in Britain in March 2019 would be able to choose to set up home in the UK or any of the other 27-member states after Brexit, a Briton in Spain could only stay put or move back home.

"Their offer only guarantees residence rights in the member state in which a British national was resident at the point of our exit from the EU. It does not guarantee the holder ... any right to onward movement within the EU, for example to work or study in a neighbouring member state," Davis said.

"We have questioned whether this is consistent with the principle of reciprocity, and also with the Commission's desire to protect rights currently enjoyed under EU law. This will be the subject of further discussion in due course."

The EU has also indicated that UK nationals on the continent will lose their rights to vote in elections after Brexit.

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Richard Hubbard

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Richard Hubbard is the group editor at Last Word. He is responsible for the editorial content of International Adviser, Portfolio Adviser, Expert Investor and Fund Selector Asia. Richard previously worked for Thomson Reuters and has covered the financial services industry and investment themes from its offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. Richard started his career at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney.

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