Countdown to Brexit:
Teresa May’s Bill for the Brexit Deal was approved the evening of the 14th November. It puts forward the proposed terms for the separation agreed by both parties. The deal has also now been approved by the EU.
We have reviewed it. We won’t offer an opinion on it, the media presents the general reaction and sentiment, however we’ve highlighted some notable points.
Brexit Deal Transition Period
The draft deal allows for indefinite extension of the so called transition period, to allow for a solution to be worked out for Ireland / Northern Ireland. The phrase ‘how long is a piece of string?’ springs to mind.
Brexit Deal and Movement Within the EU
Whilst the ‘deal’ covers the rights of UK citizens in the EU, e.g. Brits in Spain, and defines terms for right to continue reside and working etc, there is NO agreement on freedom of movement within the EU.
The explainer issued by the Government simply states:
As part of the future relationship with the EU, the UK will also seek to secure onward 9 movement opportunities for UK nationals in the EU who are covered by the citizens’ rights agreement. Some of these UK nationals have chosen to make their lives in the EU, and this should be respected in the opportunities available to them if they decide to change their Member State of residence.
Brexit Deal and UK Citizens Rights in the EU
According to the explainer, the deal on citizens’ rights protects the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, ensuring they can continue contributing to their communities and live their lives broadly as now.
It goes on to further detail qualification for those rights. Where the right to reside, or continue residing is concerned, it states:
UK nationals who have been living in a Member State of the EU continuously and lawfully for five years at the end of the implementation period will have the right to reside permanently in that Member State. Equally, EU citizens who have been living in the UK continuously and lawfully for five years at the end of the implementation period will have the right to reside permanently in the UK.
Those who have not yet resided continuously and lawfully for five years in their host state by the end of the implementation period will also be able to stay until they have reached the five year threshold, at which point they will have the right to reside permanently. The Withdrawal Agreement enables the host state to restrict these rights if the individual is a serious or persistent criminal, or if they seek to abuse or defraud the system.
We note the word ‘lawfully’ used in relation to previous and ongoing residence, which is the qualifier for continued right of residence. Also ‘abuse or defraud the system’.
If this agreement does come into play, many thousands of Brits living in Spain, ‘off the radar’ as they say, unregistered, not paying tax etc, have some urgent decision making to do.
The full explainer issued by the Government can be found here
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