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Parliamentary questions
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15 January 2020
Answer given by President von der Leyen
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002826/2019

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the United Kingdom (UK), EU citizens residing lawfully there at the time of withdrawal would continue to have the right to reside in the UK and work there under the same conditions as UK nationals and would also continue to enjoy the benefits of social security coordination rules. For fisheries, EC law would remain applicable in the UK throughout the transition period.

The EU remains committed to ensure that the UK’s exit takes place in an orderly manner and seeks an ambitious future partnership based on a balance of rights and obligations. For fisheries, access to waters and quota shares will be decided within the context of the overall EU-UK economic partnership.

In a no-deal scenario, the legal status of EU citizens resident there would become a matter of UK law. The Commission has followed closely the provisions made by the UK Government and welcomes the reassurances that the rights of EU citizens will be protected through the EU Settled Status(1). The Commission will continue to monitor the situation(2).

In case of a no-deal withdrawal, and after the transition period in general, vessels flying the flag of the UK or the Falkland Islands will be subject to EU rules on third country vessels whereas ownership and investment rules for such vessels will be determined by the domestic law of the UK/Falkland Islands(3).

Should EU vessels lose access to UK waters, Member States will be able to provide compensation until end 2020 under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the temporary cessation of fishing activities. The Commission has been working with the most concerned Member States, including Spain, on a common approach to implementing these measures most effectively.

(2)Policy paper on citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit (published 6 December 2018; last updated 28 March 2019), https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policy-paper-on-citizens-rights-in-the-event-of-a-no-deal-brexit ; Policy paper on No deal immigration arrangements for EU citizens moving to the UK after Brexit (published 5 September 2019), https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/no-deal-immigration-arrangements-for-eu-citizens-moving-to-the-uk-after-brexit
(3)Further information on the rules after withdrawal can be found here:
European Commission — Notice on Seafarers: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/seafarer_qualifications_en.pdf
European Commission — Notice on Fisheries and aquaculture: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/fisheries_and_aquaculture_en.pdf
European Commission — Q&A on fisheries:
United Kingdom Government — Prepare your fisheries business for Brexit:
Last updated: 16 January 2020Legal notice