EU Commission’s demands for EU Citizens after Brexit clearly unacceptable

June 14, 2017

Migration Watch UK have today issued a paper (MW 412 - Brexit: Preserving the Rights of EU Citizens in the UK) analysing the European Commission’s Negotiating Directives for the protection of the rights of EU citizens after the UK’s withdrawal.

It finds that a number of their demands are clearly unacceptable.

Four demands stand out:

  1. That the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should have continuing jurisdiction in the UK over the rights of EU citizens even after our departure from the EU. This could continue for up to a century.
  2. That any EU citizen who has lived in the UK in the past should have these rights. This is wrong in principle and, indeed, could involve at least six million people rather than the approximately three million who are currently living in the UK.
  3. That the cut-off point should be the date of our departure from the EU. The effect of this would be that even those who arrived the day before would be entitled to a full set of rights. There is a clear risk of a last minute rush.
  4. That EU citizens should continue to be able to bring in family members without having to meet the income requirements that apply to British citizens.

The paper recommends that, in response, the British position should be that we would be willing to grant to EU citizens the same rights as enjoyed by British citizens but:

  1. There should be an agreement on a ‘cut-off’ date. Rights should be granted only to those living or working in the UK on that date, and not to all of those who have ever lived here.
  2. EU citizens should be required to provide reasonable evidence for their claims.
  3. EU citizens in Britain after Brexit should not have more extensive rights than British citizens.
  4. There can be no continuing jurisdiction in the UK for the European Court of Justice.

Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

Calls to guarantee the ‘rights’ of EU citizens in Britain ignore the many complexities that underlie this issue. We can certainly grant the same rights as enjoyed by British citizens but we could never agree to more extensive rights supervised by a foreign court. The EU’s response will be an important test of their willingness to reach sensible compromises during the forthcoming negotiations.

We use cookies to help us improve the website.

I Understand About Cookies



Keep up with the debate: If you would like us to keep you informed about the immigration debate, please subscribe here to receive regular updates.