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Where are we now?

UPDATE BITESIZE - Where are we now? 


It's all moving so very fast in Westminster. Here is our update for 25th September 2019 (updated by James Brannan from original bitesize of 7th September 2019)

In view of the volatility of the political situation in the UK, it is still impossible to predict the outcome of the Brexit process. In terms of citizens’ rights there are two main scenarios, deal or no deal. For the no-deal scenario, the French Government has put in place emergency legislation (in the form of an enabling law, an ordinance and a decree). But if there is no deal agreed by the UK Parliament by 19 October, the Government will be required by law to request an extension. An extension until 31 January would usher in a new period of uncertainty, still with no guarantee that a deal will be agreed by the end of it. The law, provided it is complied with, nevertheless paves the way for further discussion on a deal, of which the “citizens rights” part (part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement) will necessarily be the same as that originally drafted and approved under Theresa May.

In case of a deal - Withdrawal Agreement

We need to look again at the Withdrawal Agreement as that’s what the EU is most likely to refer to in any deal discussions going forward. Here it is! All 599 pages of it :D https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration


Let’s look at a few of the Citizens’ Rights details… 


Transition Period


All UK citizens in the EU (and EU in the UK) keep their current rights except for voting and standing in local and EU elections until the agreed date which may be extended.


Some of what the agreement would guarantee


If you are ‘legally resident’ on transition day (31 December 2020?) you will be covered by the agreement. This gives all those thinking of moving a little more time to plan. Legal résidence will be the same EU rules as now - basically, it’s adequate income and health cover in your first 5 years of résidence. After 5 years you will be eligible for permanent residence and those arriving before the transition day can make up their 5 years after. Once you have got permanent residence you keep this for life (unless you leave for more than 5 years)


Work - some qualifications will still be recognised and frontier workers may continue working as before.


State pensions would be uprated the same as UK residents


Aggregation of Social Security contributions continue


Your S1 would be honoured and very probably your EHIC would remain valid in the UK


Your immediate family can come and join you (except spouses married after transition although EU law on this could be of help)


Some of what the agreement excludes


Ongoing freedom of movement :(


Certain qualifications :(

Loss of the Surinder Singh route for return to the UK with a TCN spouse :(


Providing cross border services for the self-employed :(




You will be required to have a residence document and I wouldn’t expect this to have worse terms than the one proposed in the decree - the CdRLD for those with 5+ years. Let’s hope too that legal residence during any transition will have the same income levels as those in the decree or better still no income limits as the EU in the UK enjoy. We don’t want to see Aspa levels for over 65s!

In case of No-Deal - The French Decree

The French legislation provides for the preservation of rights in the basic areas, where this is within the gift of the French Government. It thus excludes matters such as pension uprating and rights to education in the UK, as well as all the rights already excluded in the deal scenario. Here is a list of the main points in the Ordinance:

- Grace period: this has been set at one year from exit day, with an obligation to apply for a CdS within 6 months. During the one-year period, those already resident will maintain their full rights, to work, to receive benefits, etc. No CdS or visa will be required in that time.

- Dependent TCN family members: provision is also made for them to obtain residence status.

- Various types of CdS will be available and special conditions for obtaining them will apply: for example, unlike other TCNs, Britons will not need to sign an “integration contract”.

- Provisions are made for regulated professions and French civil servants.

The Decree provides more details on these points and the French Government recently announced an on-line system for CdS applications post-Brexit. More information on the two scenarios can be found under our “Citizens’ Rights” tab.