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Citizens Rights – administrative procedures in the UK after Brexit

A policy paper has been released that details administrative procedures to support the UK’s proposals for the application system for EU citizens obtaining settled status in the UK following Brexit. In this document, sent to the European Commission as part of the negotiations, the Government reiterates how the new system will be streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly, with EU citizens consulted on its design.


The UK will be bound by the obligations set out in the Withdrawal Agreement as a matter of international law. The citizens’ rights chapter of this Agreement will be incorporated in UK law, which means that the UK authorities will be required to confer the status and rights defined in the Withdrawal Agreement upon those EU citizens and their family members who fall within its scope, and EU citizens will be able to enforce their rights on that basis. In the UK, the route for individuals to obtain this status will be by application to the UK authorities, made within a period of time after exit as specified by the UK authorities. Obtaining this status will be a condition for lawful residence in the UK and enable these people to easily prove their unique status and rights, as guaranteed by the Agreement, to the UK authorities, employers, public service providers and others, in a convenient way in the future

A letter was also issued explaining the purpose of the document

Today, the Government has set out further details of how the new settled status scheme for EU citizens and their family members will operate as the UK leaves the EU. In a technical document sent to the European Commission as part of the negotiations, the Government reiterates how the new system will be streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly, with EU citizens consulted on its design.

EU citizens applying to stay in the UK after Brexit will have plenty of time, up to two years after the UK has left the EU, to obtain settled status. Those applying to stay in the UK after we leave the EU will not have their applications refused on minor technicalities and caseworkers considering applications will exercise discretion where appropriate. The new system will minimise the documentary evidence required and EU citizens will not be required to provide fingerprints as part of the application process.

Decisions will be based solely on the criteria set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, with no discretion for other reasons for refusal. EU citizens will also be given a statutory right of appeal, in line with their current rights through the Free Movement Directive, if their application is unsuccessful.

The Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in Europe is the first priority for negotiations and she said last month that an agreement is within touching distance.

Negotiation between the UK and EU is continuing and the next talks will take place this week on 9 and 10 November. We will continue to keep you updated on further progress.

The document is available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/657694/TECHNICAL_NOTE_CITIZENS__RIGHTS_-_ADMINISTRATIVE_PROCEDURES_IN_THE_UK.pdf (pdf)

UK Policy Paper – Collaboration on science and innovation

The UK has recently published a paper which outlines the UK’s objectives for a science and innovation agreement with the EU following Brexit.

The paper outlines a number of examples where the UK sees potential mutual benefit in a close working relationship between the UK and the EU, and invites discussion with the EU on how best to shape the future partnership in this area.


There are many examples of collaboration betwwen the UK and the EU including work in

  • Medical Research
  • Collaboration with European partners through international (non-EU) organisations such as
    • EUREKA
    • This intergovernmental network helps mostly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe and around the world to collaborate on R&D across borders to bring innovative ideas to market. EUREKA has 41 European members and four non-European associate members.

    • European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)
    • This is the European platform for collaboration on particle physics and the fundamental laws of nature. The UK was a founding member of CERN, which now includes membership from 22 countries, including Israel.

    • European Space Agency (ESA)
    • This agency is an international organisation with 22 Member States from across Europe. Canada also sits on the governing council and participates in some projects under a cooperation agreement.

    • European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)
    • This is one of six institutes of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). EMBL, which comprises 23 EU Member States, two associate members, and five additional funding partners, focuses on molecular biology research and services.

  • Collaboration through EU and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) programmes

The UK is looking to agree a far-reaching science and innovation agreement with the EU that establishes a framework for future collaboration and would welcome dialogue with the EU reflecting the joint interest in promoting continued close cooperation, for the benefit of both UK and European prosperity.

UK Policy Paper – Enforcement and dispute resolution

This policy paper discusses options for enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms for UK-EU agreements after the UK has left the EU.

The direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in the UK will end after our withdrawal from the EU. There needs to be an agreement between the UK and the EU on how the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement can be monitored and implemented to the satisfaction of both sides, and how any disputes which arise can be resolved.

After leaving the EU, the UK will become a “third country” as far as the EU are concerned. Many free trade agreements between the EU and with third countries include provisions on resolving disputes through a binding arbitration model in addition to mechanisms for political agreement. Examples include the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement as well as the Ukraine and Moldova Association Agreements. There are currently no precedents for the CJEU to act as the means of enforcing an international agreement between the EU and one or more third countries and there does not appear to be any sound reason for the EU to try and enforce the jurisdiction of the CJEU other than for (EU) political reasons.

The UK position is that where the Withdrawal Agreement or future relationship agreements between the UK and the EU are intended to give rise to rights or obligations for individuals and businesses operating within the UK then, where appropriate, these will be given effect in UK law. Those rights or obligations will be enforced by the UK courts and ultimately by the UK Supreme Court.

There is no precedent, and indeed no imperative driven by EU, UK or international law, which demands that enforcement or dispute resolution of future UK-EU agreements falls under the direct jurisdiction of the CJEU.

The precedents examined in this paper demonstrate that there are a number of additional means by which the EU has entered into agreements which offer assurance of effective enforcement and dispute resolution and, where appropriate, avoidance of divergence, without necessitating the direct jurisdiction of the CJEU over a third party.

Such an arrangement, whereby the highest court of one party would act as the means of enforcing or interpreting an agreement between the two parties, would be exceptional in international agreements. The UK will therefore engage constructively to negotiate an approach to enforcement and dispute resolution which meets the key objectives of both the UK and the EU in underpinning the effective operation of a new partnership.

More details of the UKs position regarding future Enforcement and Dispute Resolution procedures are set out in the Policy Paper available at:

Enforcement and dispute resolution (pdf)

UK Policy Paper – cross-border civil judicial cooperation

This paper outlines the United Kingdom’s position on cross-border civil judicial cooperation in the future partnership with the EU after Brexit.

The UK Government will seek a deep and special partnership with the EU after Brexit. Within this partnership, cross-border commerce, trade and family relationships will continue. Building on years of cooperation across borders,
it is vital for UK and EU consumers, citizens, families and businesses, that there are coherent common rules to govern interactions between legal systems.

To this end, the UK, as a non-member state outside the direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), will seek to agree new close and comprehensive arrangements for civil judicial cooperation with the EU.

Details of the UK’s negotiating position is fully outlined in the document available at:

Providing a crossborder civil judicial cooperation framework (pdf)