EU citizens arriving in the UK during the implementation period

Following the release of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement by the EU, a policy paper has been released by the Home Office regarding EU Citizens arriving in the UK during the proposed implementation period.

The UK and the EU are currently negotiating the terms of an implementation period to commence after our withdrawal from the EU. The purpose of such a period is to give people, businesses, and public services in the UK and across the EU the time they need to put in place the new arrangements that will be required to adjust to our future partnership.

EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK during the implementation period on the same basis as they do today, which will be given effect through the Withdrawal Agreement. This means that there will be no new constraints on working or studying in the UK in the implementation period. This will
also be the case for UK nationals moving to the EU during this period.
We will put in place a registration system for EU citizens and their family members who arrive in the UK during the implementation period and choose to stay for more than three months. This will help the Government to prepare for our future immigration framework by developing a better understanding of those coming to the
country longer term. The registration system will be straightforward and streamlined, and compatible with EU Directive 2004/38/EC (Article 8).

These proposals are without prejudice to Common Travel Area arrangements, including the rights of British and Irish citizens in each other’s country. Irish citizens will not be subject to the agreement and therefore will not need to register.

The UK will offer EU citizens and their family members who arrive, are resident and have registered, during the implementation period:

– eligibility after the accumulation of five years’ continuous and lawful residence to apply for indefinite leave to remain

– a temporary status in UK law that will enable them to stay after the implementation period has concluded. This means that they will be able to remain lawfully in the UK working, studying or being self-sufficient for the five years needed to obtain settlement.

– an opportunity to secure this temporary status during the implementation period, with an additional three month window for applications after the period, ensuring that there is no cliff-edge.

– the ability for these EU citizens to be joined by family members after the implementation period on a par with British citizens

– for those EU citizens frontier working in the UK during the implementation period, the opportunity to obtain permission to continue this after the period ends.

These rights will be enforceable in the UK legal system. They will apply equally to all EU citizens who arrive during the implementation period, and the UK will not treat citizens of one Member State differently to those of another.

The arrangements that will apply to UK citizens who move to EU Member States during the implementation period will be for determination by Member States and we encourage Member States to mirror the UK’s offer in their own arrangements.

This seems to be a concession accepting the demands by the EU that the agreement covering Citizens Rights be extended to the end of the Implementation (Transition) period rather than the date of withdrawal, but does not concede to the demand for gorvernance by the ECJ (European Court of Justice).