EU Rights Clinic Petition Urges the European Parliament to Ensure Stronger Protection of Citizens’ Rights After Brexit

The EU Rights Clinic and 80 signatories have submitted a Petition calling on the European Parliament to take immediate action to address specific gaps and omissions in the draft Withdrawal Agreement concerning the protection of citizens’ rights in connection with Brexit.  **You can register your support for the Petition here.**

This follows up on our letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk which called upon the Council to instruct the European Commission to address those matters related to citizens’ rights which were not covered by the interim deal that concluded the first phase of negotiations in December 2017. Unfortunately, the Council has

In its response, the Council’s General Secretariat has merely indicated that “[t]he provisional agreement on phase one issues reflected in the Joint Report of 8 December 2017, contains clear commitments relating to citizens’ rights that will allow citizens and their family members to continue to live, work and study as they did before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

We have since enlisted the support of several MEPs at the European Parliament. Following a Written Question tabled by Julie Ward MEP, the reply received from Commission President Juncker simply stated that Surinder Singh and Zambrano family members were not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Given the lack of progress in ensuring citizens rights are fully protected the EU Rights Clinic – together with 80 other signatories – has now submitted a Petition to the European Parliament.

In the Petition we have requested the European Parliament’s Petition Committee to hold a hearing as a matter of urgency and to issue a short motion for a Parliamentary resolution calling on the Council and the Commission to remedy the gaps and omissions in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

Surinder Singh family members and Zambrano carers still excluded from the Draft Withdrawal Agreement

The draft Withdrawal Agreement still fails to address the rights of those family members of both UK and EU citizens who have returned to their home country after having resided in another EU Member State (Surinder Singh family members) during the transitional period.

Moreover, so-called Zambrano carers (non-EU parents of British children living in the UK) are also excluded from the list of citizens eligible for the UK’s proposed new EU settlement scheme.

Although the EU Rights Clinic received assurances from the UK Home Office that Surinder Singh and Zambrano family members would be covered by the “settled status”, the Statement of Intent released on 21 June 2018 regrettably does not address their situation in a satisfactory manner.

Clarity needed for inactive EU citizens and their family members

It is also essential for the Withdrawal Agreement to reflect the commitments made by the UK government regarding residence rights. While the UK government has made commitments on the matter – such as waiving the requirement for holding comprehensive sickness insurance – these need to be the subject of formal binding provisions in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

The absence of such commitments from the draft Withdrawal Agreement is a likely source of anxiety and distress for EU citizens in the UK due to the uncertainty surrounding their binding effect on the UK government. Their inclusion in the Withdrawal Agreement would go a significant way to allay the fears of EU citizens and their family members in connection with their right to remain in the UK after Brexit.

Appeal rights need to be bolstered

The Withdrawal Agreement only provides for rights of appeal in connection with residence rights. Yet the scope of citizens rights covered by the Withdrawal Agreement is much wider and covers workers’ rights (Articles 22-24), professional qualifications (Articles 25-27) and social security rights (Articles 28-31). The Withdrawal Agreement needs to ensure such personal rights also carry an explicit right of appeal.

In addition, the Withdrawal Agreement must preserve access to the EU’s assistance services – SOLVIT and Your Europe Advice – for the benefit of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in EU 27, together with their family members, at the very least for the period of 8 years following the end of the transitional period specified in Article 151.

You can find the Executive Summary of the submitted Petition here.

You can register your support for the Petition here.

Appel à participation: Actors4Freemovement

C’est quoi ACT4FREEMOVEMENT ?

La campagne ACT4FreeMovement vise à transposer les décisions de la Cour de Justice Européenne sur la libre circulation des personnes dans des personnages théâtraux et à créer un cycle de sessions de formation théâtrale de trois demi-journées où les participants apprendront leurs droits au travers de jeux de rôles. Les participants seront initiés au langage et aux outils techniques légaux, ce qui les aidera à comprendre leurs droits à la liberté de circulation et de résidence et comment ils peuvent être appliqués.

Quel thème sera aborder ? 

La campagne de Bruxelles sera centrée sur les droits des citoyens non européens mariés avec des citoyens européens et, sur les parents européens ou non européens d’enfants nés sur le territoire belge. Nous discuterons des droits et des obstacles avec le directeur juridique de la EU Rights Clinic – un avocat spécialisé en la matière – et, de manière interactive, au travers d’une brève initiation théâtrale. Les participants seront appelés à retracer le parcours et la lutte menés par la famille Ruiz Zambrano, depuis leur arrivée en Belgique jusqu’à la décision finale de la Cour. Les participants seront introduits au fonctionnement du système juridique belge et apprendront les réflexes à avoir dans l’évolution de leur séjour.

Quand et où ? 

La campagne se déroulera en trois demi-journées en français (connaissance de base nécessaire)

23 Mai 2018 : 14h00 – 18h00
30 Mai 2018 : 14h00 – 18h00
5 Juin 2018 : 14h00 – 18h00

Lieu: GC Elzenhof : Av. De la Couronne 12 – 14 – 16 – 1050 – Ixelles – Bruxelles 

Qui peut participer ?

– Des citoyens non européens mariés avec des citoyens de l’UE ;
– Parents (UE ou non UE) d’enfants nés sur le territoire Belge ;
– Les citoyens de l’UE et de pays tiers intéressés à connaître leurs droits de résidence en Belgique ;
– Membres d’associations travaillant avec des migrants.

Comment participer ? 

Pour s’enregistrer veuillez envoyer votre nom, adresse email et votre numéro de téléphone à eleonora.nestola@yahoo.it

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in the UK: How do you prove past healthcare coverage by another Member State’s social security system?

As the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union approaches, EEA nationals and their family members have been applying for permanent residence in increasing numbers.

In 2016, over 90,000 applications for permanent residence were submitted by family members and in 2017 this more than doubled to almost 215,000 applications (Home Office, Immigration statistics, October to December 2017).

However, the rate of rejection of applications was relatively high: in 2016 29% of applications were either refused or declared inadmissible, whereas in 2017 the rate of rejection was lower at 21%.

Unfortunately, we do not have reliable statistics to determine what proportion of these refusals is due to applicants not having held comprehensive sickness insurance during their period of residence in the UK.

Despite having made a specific request to the Home Office to publish this information, our request was turned down because the “requested data is not recorded for our statistical purposes thus; (sic) we cannot provide information on any of the above questions” (Home Office response to the EU Right Clinic’s FOIA request No 35185, 7 May 2015).

However, we know from the evidence submitted to the Brexit Committee of the House of Commons that the absence of comprehensive sickness insurance constitutes one of the main reasons for the Home Office to reject applications for residence documentation by EEA nationals and their family members (Exiting the European Union Committee, The Government’s negotiating objectives: the rights of UK and EU citizens (HC 2016-17, 1071) para 67).

So how can EEA nationals and their family members prove they have held comprehensive sickness insurance during their residence in the UK when they apply for permanent residence?

The Home Office’s Modernised Guidance “EEA nationals qualified persons”  sets out what documents are needed for permanent residence applications:

For applications for a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card

They must provide one of the following documents or a combination of these documents covering their 5 continuous year’s residence in the UK:

•  a comprehensive private medical insurance policy document

•  a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by an EEA member state other than the UK (or its predecessor form E111)

•  form S1 (or its predecessor forms E109 or E121)

•  form S2 (or its predecessor form E112)

•  form S3

The definition of CSI [comprehensive sickness insurance] does not include:

•  cash back health schemes, such as:

o dental

o optical

o prescription charges

•  travel insurance policies

•  access to the UK’s NHS”

However, these documents are not the only way that EU citizens and their family members can prove they held comprehensive sickness insurance.

Another way to prove comprehensive sickness insurance includes past coverage under your home country’s social security system.

This will often benefit students who came to study in the UK and who remained covered by their home country’s social security system, but it might include others, such as those in receipt of an exportable benefit from another EU country or EEA state.

Past coverage under your home country’s social security system can be proved in a number of different ways that differ according to national practices:

•  Italian citizens who came to the UK to study and did not register with AIRE (Anagrafe Italiani residenti all’estero): they can prove this by obtaining a letter confirming their former healthcare coverage from their local healthcare institution (azienda sanitaria locale), if possible with a print-out confirming the dates when they held an Italian Healthcare Insurance Card (Tessera Europea di Assicurazione Malattia).

•  Bulgarian and Romanian citizens may be issued Structure Electronic Document S041 by their social security institution back home which confirms that their citizens remained covered by their home country’s social security system for a specified period of time and therefore were entitled to receive healthcare in the UK at the expense of their home country during that period of time – if you have been issued SED S041, you should download our practice note on SED S041 and include a copy in support of your application for permanent residence.

•  Dutch citizens may also be issued with the old Form E104 , which is a certificate showing periods of previous coverage by their home country’s social security system for a specified period of time and therefore were entitled to receive healthcare in the UK at the expense of their home country during that period of time – if you have been issued Form E104, you should download our practice note on Form E 104 and include a copy in support of your application for permanent residence. [link to document]

Separately, some EEA citizens may be able to invoke the existence of reciprocal arrangements concluded by the UK with individual Member States. The basis for this claim is the ruling by the Court of Appeal in Ahmad v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 988 in which Arden LJ held “[53] … It is common ground that if there were reciprocal arrangements with the EEA national’s own state that would be sufficient to constitute comprehensive insurance cover.” This would only benefit the following categories:

•  German citizens who can invoke Article 2 of the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the Waiving of the Reimbursement of the Costs of Benefits in Kind provided for Sickness, Maternity, Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases, of Unemployment Benefits and of the Costs of Administrative and Medical Controls (Bonn, 29 April 1977), which waives any costs arising from medical treatment provided under the NHS to German citizens in the UK:

“(1) Reimbursement by the competent institutions of the Contracting Parties of the costs of benefits in kind for sickness, maternity, accidents at work and occupational diseases in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 36 and paragraph 1 of Article 63 of Regulation (EEC) No. 1408/71 [now paragraph 1 of Article 35 and paragraph 1 of Article 41 of Regulation 883/2004] and of the costs of administrative and medical controls in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 105 of Regulation (EEC) No. 574/72 [now paragraph 1 of Regulation 987/2009] shall mutually be waived.”

•  In addition, some EEA nationals who arrived in the UK before their country joined the EU/EEA may be able to rely on the more favourable provisions of reciprocal arrangements that are contained in bilateral social security conventions that effectively waives the requirement to hold comprehensive sickness insurance. This results from the so-called “Rönfeldt principle” laid down in the case law of the EU Court of Justice in Case C‑227/89 Rönfeldt EU:C:1991:52 and subsequent cases. This only benefits specific nationalities:

o   French nationals who were lawfully living in the UK before 1 January 1973 when the UK joined the EEC;

o   Portuguese and Spanish nationals who were lawfully living in the UK before 1 January 1986 when Portugal and Spain joined the EEC;

o   Icelandic and Norwegian nationals who were lawfully living in the UK before 1 January 1994 when Iceland and Norway joined the EEA;

o   Austrian and Finnish nationals who were lawfully living in the UK before 1 January 1995 when Austria and Finland joined the EU;

o  Czech and Slovenian nationals who were lawfully living in the UK before 1 May 2004 when the Czech Republic and Slovenia joined the EU.

In all cases, applicants should not forget to supply an English translation of any document which have been issued in another language.

The EU Rights Clinic is a partnership between ECAS and the University of Kent in Brussels. It helps EU citizens and their family members overcome problems they encounter when moving within the EU.

The EU Rights is grateful for the financial support it has received from the European Programme for Integration and Migration under its sub-fund on EU mobility.

Call for evidence: Residence card delays in Sweden

Are you the non-EU family member of an EU citizen living in Sweden?

Are you experiencing delays in receiving your residence card?

The EU Rights Clinic can help!

Under EU law, the Swedish authorities are required to issue residence documents within six months to the family members of EU citizens who come from a country outside the EU.

However, the reality is that the Swedish migration authority (Migrationsverket) is taking well over a year – sometimes even two years – to issue a residence card to non-EU family members.

As a result, family members are unable to lead a normal life: they cannot prove their right to work, they are unable to leave Sweden while awaiting their residence document, and the state of uncertainty caused by excessive delays can lead to anxiety and depression.

This undermines the right of free movement which EU citizens and family members are guaranteed under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The EU Rights Clinic have received several complaints from non-EU family members in Sweden and we have therefore launched a review to determine whether this is a systematic problem which merits a complaint to the EU institutions.

We are therefore calling upon all non-EU family members of EU citizens who are living in Sweden and who have been waiting more than six months to obtain a residence card from the Migrationsverket to contact us by email (eurightsclinic) and share their experiences.

If you or anyone you know have been waiting for more than six months to obtain a family member residence card (“uppehållskort för en unionsmedborgares familjemedlem”), please contact us by email (eurightsclinic).

All information received will be treated confidentially and will not be divulged without your explicit consent.

Tack så mycket!

The EU Rights Clinic

The EU Rights Clinic is a partnership between ECAS and the University of Kent in Brussels. It helps EU citizens and their family members overcome problems they encounter when moving within the EU.

The EU Rights is grateful for the financial support it has received from the European Programme for Integration and Migration under its sub-fund on EU mobility.

 

Brexit: EU Rights Clinic Calls for Further Protection of Citizens’ Rights in Second Phase of Negotiations

The EU Rights Clinic has submitted a letter to President of the European Council Donald Tusk calling upon the Council to instruct the European Commission to continue negotiations on citizens’ rights in the second phase of Brexit negotiations and to address those matters related to citizens’ rights which were not addressed in the interim deal that concluded the first phase of negotiations in December 2017.

Read our letter to President Donald Tusk – you can add your name as a signatory to our letter here.

Acquired rights absent from withdrawal agreement

Following correspondence with the Commission’s Article 50 Task Force in December 2017, the EU Rights Clinic has received written confirmation that the acquired rights of certain family members and primary carers of children, who currently enjoy rights of residence, work and equal treatment under EU law were not included in the interim deal on citizens rights that was reached on 8 December 2017 and which led to conclusion of the first phase of Brexit negotiations.

Based upon statements made in the Council’s negotiating guidelines and directives, the Commission’s Essential Principles on Citizens’ Rights, as well as the European Parliament’s resolution on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom, the EU Rights Clinic considers that the interim deal of 8 December 2017 fails to cover the entire spectrum of rights which all EU citizens and their family members presently enjoy under EU law.

In particular, the interim deal does not cover family members of EU citizens who have returned home after having resided in another EU country, as regards both those who have returned home before Brexit and those who will return to their home Member State after Brexit. In addition, the interim deal fails to address the rights of so-called Zambrano carers – namely non-EU parents of EU children living in their own country – and is silent on the continuing rights of free movement of UK nationals after Brexit. A number of technical aspects are also not sufficiently addressed in the interim deal.

Continued negotiations on citizens’ rights must be given priority

The EU Rights Clinic is seeking assurances from the Council that the directives which it will give to the Commission on the conduct of the second phase of negotiations will seek to enhance and extend the principles and commitments contained in the interim deal.

Priority should therefore be given in the second phase to the continuation of negotiations on citizens rights as a distinct strand that will cover the acquired rights of certain family members and primary carers of children, the continuing right of free movement of UK nationals in the EU27 after Brexit, the incorporation into the final terms of withdrawal of commitments made by the UK on “comprehensive sickness insurance” and “genuine and effective work”, and the inclusion of specific guarantees to ensure that restrictions on grounds of public policy or security comply with the principles of proportionality and equality, adhere to fundamental and human rights and provide for procedural safeguards and full rights of appeal.

Background

The letter to President Tusk has been submitted by the EU Rights Clinic on behalf of 60 signatories, including representatives of the3million and British in Europe, a number of Members of the European Parliament, leading legal experts and academics, as well as representatives of civil society organisations.

The EU Rights Clinic is a partnership between ECAS and the University of Kent in Brussels. It helps EU citizens and their family members overcome problems they encounter when moving within the EU.

If you are an EU citizen in the UK or a UK national in another EU country and are having problems exercising your EU rights, please contact us at rights.clinic@ecas.org.

The EU Rights is grateful for the financial support it has received from the European Programme for Integration and Migration under its sub-fund on EU mobility.

 

Brexit: EU Rights Clinic Calls For Rights of EU Citizens and Family Members to be Fully Protected

The EU Rights Clinic has submitted letters to the European Commission’s Brexit Task Force and the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group to express its concerns about the protections granted to the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK following the recent agreement reached by the EU and the UK which concludes the first phase of negotiations on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Urgent confirmation is sought from the European Commission and European Parliament that the rights of various categories of EU citizens and family members who currently enjoy rights of residence under EU law will be fully protected under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The various categories of citizens and family members affected include:

  • family members of EU citizens who have returned home after having resided in another Member State as recognised by the Court of Justice’s ruling in Case C-370/90 Surinder Singh and subsequent cases;
  • primary carers of the children in education of migrant workers or former migrant workers under Regulation 492/2011 on the free movement of workers as recognised by the Court of Justice’s rulings in Case C-480/08 Teixeira and Joined Cases C‑147/11 and C-148/11 Czop and Punakova and subsequent cases;
  • primary carers of Union citizens having a right of residence in the EU citizens’ home country arising from the Court of Justice’s ruling in Case C-34/09 Ruiz Zambrano and subsequent cases.

The EU Rights Clinic also seeks assurances over previous commitments given by the UK concerning the interpretation of “lawful residence” under EU law and the waiving of all requirements for inactive EU citizens to have held “comprehensive sickness insurance” while living in the UK. The assurances should be the subject of specific provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement.

The letters have been submitted on behalf of 34 signatories representing various organisations providing legal assistance and advice to EU citizens living in the UK and British nationals living in the other 27 EU Member States.

If you are an EU citizen in the UK and are having problems exercising your EU rights, please contact us at rights.clinic@ecas.org.

Letter to the Brexit Task Force  –  Letter to the Brexit Steering Committee

The EU Rights is grateful for the financial support it has received from the European Programme for Integration and Migration under its sub-fund on EU mobility.

Web Counter
Web Counter

Call for evidence: Deportation of EU Citizens and Family Members from the UK

Have you or your family received an order to leave the UK or been removed from the UK?

The EU Rights Clinic would like to hear from you!

Since the Brexit referendum, the numbers of EU citizens being detained and deported from the UK have risen significantly. This is despite statements by the UK authorities that there will be no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.

The actions of the UK authorities are in direct contravention of the right to move and reside freely under Directive 2004/38. Under the EU rules, Member States can only enforce the removal of EU citizens or their family members when they represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to public policy or public security. The EU Rights Clinic is therefore alarmed to hear of new reports of EU citizens who are being told to leave the country for reasons not connected to public policy or public security.

There have been several reports in the press of EU citizens and their families being threatened with deportation, being detained and being forcibly removed from the UK. The Home Office appears to be acting without consideration of the repercussions on remaining family members, including their financial livelihood and ties to the local community.

The EU Rights Clinic considers this systematic disregard for the right to free movement and protections against expulsion to be a major breach of EU law. We intend on raising the issue with the EU institutions. We would therefore like to hear from those who have been affected by the UK’s current pattern of threatening expulsion, detention, and deportation of EU citizens and their family members irrespective of whether they represent a threat to public policy or public security.

We are calling upon EU citizens and their family members have received an order to leave the UK and those who have been deported from the UK to contact us by email and share their experiences.

Please send your stories to eurightsclinic.

We hope to use this information to formulate a complaint to the EU institutions so they can take action to bring an end to the restrictive practices of the UK authorities.

All information received will be treated confidentially and will not be divulged without your explicit consent.

The EU Rights Clinic

The EU Rights is grateful for the financial support it has received from the European Programme for Integration and Migration under its sub-fund on EU mobility.

Web Counter
Web Counter

EU Rights Clinic Refers Sweden to European Commission for Breach of Free Movement Rules

Brussels, 14 November 2017

Today, the EU Rights Clinic has submitted a complaint to the European Commission against Sweden for the refusal of the Swedish tax authorities to issue a personal identification number – ‘personnummer’ – to EU citizens and their family members living in Sweden, preventing them from engaging in everyday life in Sweden.

A personnummer is essential for accessing any kind of private or public service – banking services, renting a home, phone and internet services, medical treatment, getting a job. The systematic refusal to issue a personnummer to EU citizens and their family members constitutes a restriction on their free movement rights and is in breach of EU law.

As this is a problem that has existed for over ten years, we urge the Commission to take a strong enforcement stance and bring infringement proceedings against Sweden under Article 258 TFEU and take the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) without further delay.

In conjunction with the complaint, the EU Rights Clinic will also be submitting a petition to the European Parliament.

Background

*Watch this video to find out more about the problem*

The problem relates to the Swedish population register law, which requires EU citizens to demonstrate that they will reside in Sweden for a year or more before being able to obtain a personal identification number. In addition, the Swedish administrative policy on comprehensive sickness insurance is unduly restrictive because in practice neither private healthcare nor reliance on the public healthcare system is accepted.

Under EU law, EU citizens should be considered genuinely resident in Sweden after having only lived in Sweden for three months. While EU law does allow Sweden to require EU citizens who are not in employment to hold comprehensive sickness insurance for themselves and their family members, the rules must be applied in a proportionate way and must give due regard to all forms of healthcare coverage.

The Swedish rules are in breach of Article 45 Charter of Fundamental Rights, Articles 20, 21 and 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Articles 24 and 25 of Directive 2004/38, as well as related ECJ case law.

The Commission has previously investigated the problem and issued a Letter of Formal Notice in infringement Case 2007-4081, but the case was closed because of assurances given by Swedish authorities. The Parliament has also received a number of petitions and recommended the use of the so-called “coordination number”, but this is not a feasible solution because such a coordination number does not provide access to the full range of public and private services.

The EU Rights Clinic is a collaboration between ECAS and the University of Kent in Brussels. As part of the ACT for Free Movement project, funded by EPIM, the EU Rights Clinic is investigating cases of breaches of free movement rights in EU Member States. This complaint was submitted in cooperation with Crossroads Göteborg. Together, the EU Rights Clinic and Crossroads Göteborg have received 285 individual complaints from affected EU citizens and their family members.

Read the executive summary of the complaint here

The EU Rights is grateful for the financial support it has received from the European Programme for Integration and Migration under its sub-fund on EU mobility.

Web Counter
Web Counter

Call for evidence: Comprehensive sickness insurance in the UK

Have you or your family been refused permanent residence in the UK because you did not have private healthcare insurance?

The EU Rights Clinic would like to hear from you!

***Watch this video for a summary of the problem (from 16:45)***

At present, the UK does not accept that reliance on the public healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS), constitutes a valid form of comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) for the purposes of claiming a right of residence in the UK on the basis of Directive 2004/38 as given effect by the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016.

The Home Office systematically refuses to issue residence documentation to EEA students and EEA migrants who do not work, as well as their family members, on the sole basis that they rely on the NHS for their healthcare needs.

This is despite the fact that, as a matter of UK law, all persons who are ordinarily resident in the UK can access the NHS for free at the point of use.

This has led to a number of reports in the press of EU citizens in the UK being refused permanent residence because they did not hold CSI during the time they did not work in the UK.

The EU Rights Clinic considers this to be a major breach of EU law. We intend on raising the issue once more with the EU institutions. We would therefore like to hear from those who have been affected by the UK’s policy on CSI.

We are therefore calling upon EU citizens living in the UK who have been refused permanent residence because they did not have private healthcare to contact us by email and share their experiences. Please send us your story to eurightsclinic – please insert “UK CSI” in the subject of your email).

We hope to use this information to formulate a complaint to the EU institutions so they can bring an end to the restrictive policy of the UK authorities.

All information received will be treated confidentially and will not be divulged without your explicit consent.

Thank you!

The EU Rights Clinic

Web Counter
Web Counter

“5 Takeaways on Brexit”: Read Our Study on Brexit and Citizens’ Rights

Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, a number of studies have looked into the financial and economic impact of Brexit, but none has undertaken a thorough analysis of the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU for citizens’ rights. With more than 3 million EU citizens resident in the UK and over 1 million UK citizens residing in other Member States, whose rights in those countries will be directly affected, there is a great deal of uncertainty about their future legal status.

Access the full study – Access the policy digest

This study is divided in two parts. The first part analyses the impact of Brexit on the main series of rights that are bestowed on citizens by virtue of their EU citizenship, including the right of entry, the right of residence, the right to work, social security rights, the right to establish a business and to provide services, consumer protection rights, passenger rights, the right to non-discrimination, voting rights and the rights of access to the EU institutions. The second part looks into the impact of Brexit on the ability of UK-based organisations to continue to access EU public funding streams, an issue which has raised a lot of concern especially from UK universities and innovation-driven entities, which are among the top beneficiaries of EU funding in the UK.

As part of its mission to empower citizens to exercise their rights in the EU, the EU Rights Clinic, in partnership with ECAS, the European Disability Forum and the New Europeans, has considered the impact of Brexit on citizens’ rights under different scenarios compared to the rights that citizens currently enjoy whilst the UK is a full member of the EU. The study analyses in addition the possible repercussions of Brexit for the access of UK-based entities to EU funding streams

The study has been produced by a team comprised of Professor Anthony Valcke, Supervising Solicitor at the EU Rights Clinic, in collaboration with ECAS Director, Assya Kavrakova, ECAS Membership and Outreach Manager, Marta Pont, and ECAS intern Connor Brown from the University of Sheffield. New Europeans and the European Disability Forum have contributed, respectively, to the analysis on voting rights and on non-discrimination rights.