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MEPs voice concern over citizens' rights post-Brexit

MEPs voice  concern over citizens' rights post-Brexit

Photo Customs Administration of Slovenia

(STRASBOURG) - Assurances on the protection of citizens' rights in the UK EU Settlement Scheme and freedom of movement were needed if MEPs are to consent to the UK Withdrawal Agreement, they said Wednesday.

The European Parliament will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom after the ratification process in the UK has been completed. To enter into force, the Agreement has to be approved by the Parliament by a simple majority of votes cast.

Part Two of the Withdrawal Agreement protects EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in other EU countries, as well as their families. According to its provisions, all social security rights under EU law will be maintained and citizens' rights will be guaranteed throughout their lifetime. All relevant administrative procedures have to be transparent, smooth and streamlined. The implementation and application of these terms will be overseen by an independent authority with powers equivalent to those of the European Commission.

In the resolution adopted on Wednesday, MEPs take stock of citizens' rights in the context of Brexit and highlight that their consent to the Withdrawal Agreement will take into account "experiences gained and assurances given" about their protection.

The MEPs express concerns especially about the application-based approach used in the UK EU Settlement Scheme, the absence of physical proof for successful applicants, and its accessibility, among other issues.

They also question the set-up and independence of the UK's "independent authority" foreseen in the Withdrawal Agreement, stating that they would welcome the establishment of a joint European Parliament - UK Parliament scrutiny mechanism.

The adopted text calls for information campaigns to be launched to prepare citizens and urges governments in EU27 member states to adopt consistent and generous measures to provide legal certainty for UK citizens residing in their territory.

The resolution was adopted following a debate on Tuesday that focussed largely on the future of freedom of movement and limiting the impact of Brexit on citizens' lives.

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text (15.01.2020)

Procedure file

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