EU Citizens' Post-Brexit Deal

The Prime Minister has vowed to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.

At a summit with EU chiefs in Brussels on Thursday, Theresa May said EU citizens who had resided in the UK for five years or more may qualify for a new ‘settled status’.

Settled status would include access to health care, education and other benefits.

Mrs May said the proposal was dependent on EU states guaranteeing reciprocal rights to the estimated 1.2 million Britons living in EU countries.

The announcement will no doubt reassure many of the 3.2 million EU citizens in the UK. 

However there are a number of as yet unanswered questions surrounding the proposal, not least how the qualifying period of five years will be calculated and from when it might start. 

The UK is expected to conclude the two year process of departure from the EU on 29th March 2019.

There is a strong likelihood that the period in which to qualify for settled status will start five years preceding that date, i.e., 29th March 2014, however this is yet to be confirmed.

There is no clarity yet on the post-Brexit policy for those EU citizens who have resided in the UK for less than five years at the time the settled status policy becomes law.  

The government is also yet to announce what type of immigration system it will apply to EU citizens wanting to move to the UK post-Brexit.

Speaking to journalists on Friday morning, Mrs May said a policy paper would be published by the government on Monday 26th June. 

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