skip to content

Cookies on the EU website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.


Brexit: EP to keep fighting to fully protect rights of EU-UK citizens


The EU and the UK made significant progress to guarantee that citizens affected by Brexit will maintain their rights, but key issues still need to be solved.


In a hearing on Thursday, MEPs of the Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions committees underlined that they will continue fighting to ensure that both EU nationals living in the UK and British citizens in other member states will enjoy their full set of rights throughout their lifetime.

Among the elements still pending, they pointed to the status of future partners, the situation during the transitional period, additional clarity on the administrative procedure to follow to gain residence, the implementation of the right to free movement after Brexit is completed and fully exercising political rights (such as to voting and to be elected for office).

Representatives of the citizens’ organisations “The 3 million”, “British in Europe” and “New Europeans”, as well as academics and other experts, presented their views to MEPs.

Ahead of the hearing, Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE), Parliament´s chief Brexit coordinator, said: “Prime Minister May’s comments appear to be part of a domestic negotiation within the UK Cabinet, and threaten to increase existing uncertainties for citizens, which is regrettable. PM May's proposal to make a distinction between those arriving before March 2019 and during the transition could lead to discrimination against EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. EU citizens contribute to Britain; what kind of message does this send to them?”

“The maintenance of EU Citizens’ rights during the transition is not negotiable. We will not accept that there are two sets of rights for EU citizens. For the transition to work, it must mean a continuation of the existing acquis, with no exceptions.”

You can catch up with the hearing here.

Programme of the hearing, background information and speakers' presentations
EP Research Service: The Brexit process: Moving to the second phase of negotiations (21.12.2017)
Brexit: EP outlines its red lines on latest UK citizens’ rights proposals (Press release, 8.11.2017)
Brexit: protecting the rights of EU citizens living in the UK (European Parliament, 20.09.2017)
EP resolution of 5 April 2017 on the negotiations with the UK following its notification to withdraw from the UK
EP resolution of 3 October 2017 on the state of play of negotiations with the UK
Brexit: Multimedia package