The EU citizens must keep their full residence rights during the two-year transitional period after the Brexit, insist the negotiators of the European Commission. The decline in immigration was the main reason 52% of Britons to vote for Brexit in June 2016, following the large influx of EU citizens in the country, especially from the poorer countries of Eastern Europe.
Formally, Britain leaves the EU at midnight on March 29, 2019 but is now preparing to negotiate with the EU on the conditions of the two-year transition period after that date to help curb the negative impact on companies and people.
The ambassadors from the other 27 member states have agreed with the European Commission (EC) today that EU citizens’ residence rights must remain in force after Brexit as the UK will still be bound by all EU laws during the transitional period.
A joint EU-UK report, published in December 2017, indicates that the deadline for EU citizens to be resident in the UK must be March 29, 2019, but leaves room for “appropriate adaptation”.
The diplomats said that the EU’s position on citizens’ rights is now less politically controversial because immigration is no longer as hot as it was during the referendum.