This is an update at the conclusion of the fourth round of negotiations between the UK and EU in Brussels this week.
Throughout the negotiation, the UK Government is remaining focused on providing certainty, clarity and stability for EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU, upholding the proposals set out in June.
This month’s round made progress on issues which will enable EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU to continue to live their lives broadly as they do now. This progress is detailed in the joint summary note published yesterday. Notably, good progress was made on protecting social security rights, which will provide EU citizens and UK nationals with more financial security.
The UK thinks that in some cases we must go beyond the strict requirements of current EU law in order to protect citizens. For example the UK Government has offered guaranteed rights of return for settled EU citizens in the UK who leave the UK, in return for onward movement rights for UK nationals living in the EU27.
If the EU agrees to this, it would mean that as an EU citizen with settled status you could leave the UK for more than two years without your status being affected. In return, as a UK national living in the EU, you would be able to move within the other Member States, as now. This is a bold and important offer which we hope the EU will consider carefully.
Regarding the enforcement of citizens’ rights after we leave the EU, the UK has been clear that, as a third country outside of the EU, it would not be right for the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to have direct jurisdiction. However, we have listened to the concerns that have been raised and - as the Prime Minister set out in herspeech in Florence last week - the UK has committed to incorporating the final withdrawal agreement fully into UK law and said that UK courts should be able to take account of CJEU judgments in order to ensure consistent interpretation.
After four negotiation rounds we are starting to get into the detail of how EU citizens will apply for a new settled status. The UK presented its early thinking and we will be engaging on the design and delivery of a proposed Settlement Scheme for EU citizens in the UK. We are committed to making the application as streamlined and user-friendly as possible for everyone. Those who already hold permanent residency documents should not have to go through the full process, for example. We will also use data that EU citizens have already provided to minimise the burden of documentary evidence required.
There will be more details in the coming months, but for the time being EU citizens need not take any action.
The next round of negotiations is due to take place during the week beginning 9 October and you will receive a further update then.