Citizens' rights and EU Settlement Scheme

Here is an easy-to-understand guide to Brexit - beginning with the basics, then a look at the negotiations, followed by a selection of answers to questions we've been sent.

Posted August 8,2018 in News and Politics.

Willand Staffline
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Citizens' rights and EU Settlement Scheme

What's happening now?

The UK has voted to leave the European Union. It is scheduled to depart at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019. The UK and EU have provisionally agreed on the three "divorce" issues of how much the UK owes the EU, what happens to the Northern Ireland border and what happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. Talks are now focusing on the detail of those issues - there is yet to be agreement on how to avoid having a physical Northern Ireland border - and on future relations. To buy more time, the two sides have agreed on a 21-month "transition" period to smooth the way to post-Brexit relations. The UK cabinet has just agreed how it sees those future relations working and will now be seeing if the EU agrees.

What is the 'transition' period?

It refers to a period of time after 29 March, 2019, to 31 December, 2020, to get everything in place and allow businesses and others to prepare for the moment when the new post-Brexit rules between the UK and the EU begin. It also allows more time for the details of the new relationship to be fully hammered out. Free movement will continue during the transition period, as the EU wanted. The UK will be able to strike its own trade deals - although they won't be able to come into force until 1 January 2021.

Back in March Theresa May made concessions over the UK’s relationship with Europe and confirmed the right for EU workers to remain has been extended by the Government as the UK and EU agreed terms for the Brexit transition period.


One of the key aspects of the agreement is that Britain will give full rights to EU citizens moving to the country for up to, at least, the duration of a transitional period from Brexit day on 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020.  EU citizens arriving in the UK up until December 2020 will continue to enjoy the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived previously.  Our friends and colleagues who have moved here from the EU are as welcome today as at any time previously and will be able to continue to build a life here indefinitely post Brexit as will any new EU migrants who arrive up until at least the end of 2020. 

Yesterday the Government went a step further in publishing more details on the scheme and our desire for EU citizens and their families who have made the UK their home to stay, and the process for them to do so.

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