UK CITIZENS LIVING OR VISITING THE EU 27 MEMBER-STATES
The right of every EU citizen and their family members to live, work or study in any EU Member State is one of the foundations of the European Union. Many EU and United Kingdom citizens have made their life choices based on rights related to free movement under EU law.
Protecting these life choices has been the first priority of both the EU 27 member states and the United Kingdom from the beginning of the Brexit negotiations.
The protection of Citizens’ Rights is included in Part II of the Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement guarantees that EU citizens who already live in the UK and UK citizens who already live in the EU and their family members retain broadly the same rights as they have now: they can continue to live, study, work and travel freely between the UK and the EU.
The same applies to any EU citizen who moves to the UK or UK nationals who move to an EU Member State (and their family members) during the transition period.
Figures from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS, 2018) show that around 3.7 million EU citizens live in the UK. An estimated 1.3 million UK nationals live within the EU27 (UN, 2017).
In view of Brexit, the EU and its 27 Member States have reviewed the Visa Regulation. The revision provides for the inclusion of the United Kingdom, after its withdrawal from the EU, in the list of countries that enjoy a visa free regime in the EU, for short-term stays and visits. This will allow British citizens to visit any EU country for tourist or business purposes, visa-free, for 90 days within an 180-day period.
In case of no deal, the revised Regulation will apply on the basis of reciprocity, meaning it will apply only if the UK applies similar measures for EU citizens. The UK has already announced it intends to do so.