As Brexit negotiations resumed in a difficult political climate, this week the European Commission published a communication urging businesses, citizens and administrations to prepare for all possible scenarios, including a no deal.
The Commission invited citizens with a professional qualification obtained in the UK to consult relevant nationals authorities, and consider whether to request its recognition in other EU countries while the UK is still part of the EU. It is not guaranteed this will be possible after Brexit.
More worryingly, the Commission said that in case of no deal, “there would be no specific arrangement in place for EU citizens in the United Kingdom, or for UK citizens in the European Union.” This could mean no aggregation of future pension contributions or mutual access to healthcare, for example. The Commission reminded that consulates and embassies have a key role to play in informing citizens on how to prepare.
EU member states are also discussing the consequences of a no-deal Brexit. At the Dutch parliament, a cross-party group of MPs (Peter Omtzigt, Anne Mulder and Lodewijk Asscher) recommended the national government to establish special advisory services for Dutch citizens in the UK. They also enquired about plans to preserve citizens’ rights, especially with regard to Dutch-British couples, in a no-deal scenario.
Vragen over Brexit, samen met @a_mulder en @LodewijkA
– Risico ‘no deal’ Brexit neemt snel toe
– Bij no deal Brexit weten 3 miljoen EU burgers in het VK niet waar ze aan toe zijn
– Zorg voor duidelijkheid voor die groep ook bij no deal. Denk aan gemengde huwelijken.
— Pieter Omtzigt (@PieterOmtzigt) July 17, 2018
The Dutch cabinet is drafting a ‘playbook’ to be ready by October in case the UK leaves the EU without agreement, reports Reuters.
According to news site Forsal.pl, Poland’s Minister for European Affairs Konrad Szymański said after the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels that the Polish administration is preparing to settle issues concerning citizens’ rights on a bilateral basis with the UK, in case there isn’t an EU-wide deal. Poland has the largest community of EU nationals in the UK.
In an analysis about the Brexit prospects for Spain, the Elcano Royal Institute, a Spanish research centre, did not exclude the possibility of bilateral arrangements also to complement a future trade agreement, for example in the area of healthcare.
It is still unclear how the 27 EU countries plan the registration of UK residents on their territory in preparation for Brexit. If there is no agreement, British citizens risk becoming third country nationals overnight.
Claudia Delpero © all rights reserved.
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