Closed petition Protect our Freedom of Movement Rights

As EU Citizens, UK citizens currently have Freedom of Movement to work in 28 Countries of the EU & also in 3 EEA countries. We do not want to lose these rights.

We ask that the UK Government consider our Rights in Brexit negotiations as many of us use them to work across the countries of Europe.

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I have campaigned to highlight Freedom of Movement via the Big EU Passport Campaign - http://bigeupassport.blogspot.com/

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Government responded

This response was given on 16 April 2019

As we leave the EU, free movement will end. But recognising that mobility is a key element of economic, social and scientific cooperation, the UK will seek reciprocal mobility provisions with the EU.

From the very beginning, the Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding the rights of UK nationals living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK was her first priority for the negotiations. The draft Withdrawal Agreement secures the rights of more than three million EU citizens living in the UK and around one million UK nationals living in the EU. It would enable families who have built their lives together in the EU to stay together in the EU and would allow UK nationals in the EU to continue living their lives broadly as they do now in their host states.

Free movement is a right guaranteed by the EU treaties and thus will end when those treaties cease to apply to the UK. We recognise that securing onward movement opportunities is an important issue for UK nationals living 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. We pushed hard for this during the first phase of negotiations, but the EU’s approach so far has been to simply say this is not an issue for phase one negotiations but for the future. We intend to return to it with the EU in the next phase of negotiations.

As we said in the July 2018 White Paper on ‘The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union’, we recognise mobility as being a key element of economic, cultural and scientific cooperation - supporting professional service providers to reach clients, advanced manufacturers to deploy key personnel to the right place, and scientists to collaborate on world-leading projects. That is why, recognising the depth of the UK-EU relationship, the UK has made a sovereign choice to seek reciprocal mobility arrangements with the EU in a defined number of areas.

The framework for mobility that we are seeking to agree with the EU will provide for visa-free travel for short-term visits, including for tourists and business travellers; support businesses to provide services and move their talented people; allow students and young people to continue to benefit from world leading universities and the cultural experiences the UK and EU have to offer; facilitate passage for legitimate travel while strengthening the security of the UK’s border; and seek to ensure that UK nationals living in the EU can continue to benefit from their pension entitlements and associated healthcare. This is reflected in the draft Political Declaration on our future relationship, and the detail will be discussed in the next phase of the negotiations.

Our proposals for a framework for mobility are in line with the arrangements that the UK might want to offer other close trading partners in the future, where they support new and deep trade deals. The proposals will also reflect Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements, as will the UK’s future immigration system more widely. After we leave the EU, British and Irish citizens will continue to have the right to work in each other’s states under the CTA, as they do now.

In the draft Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has agreed to a proposed implementation period with the EU, which would run until 31 December 2020. All UK citizens legally resident in the EU before the end of the proposed implementation period would be protected under the draft Withdrawal Agreement. During the implementation period, UK nationals will be able to visit, study or work in EU Member States as well as in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, as they do now.

The UK has also agreed that frontier workers should be protected under the draft Withdrawal Agreement. Frontier workers are defined as EU27 citizens or UK nationals who regularly work in one or more states in which they do not reside, irrespective of whether they also work in the state of residence. The draft Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of those who are frontier workers at 31 December 2020, for as long as they continue to be frontier workers in the host state.

Department for Exiting the European Union.