|'Brexit should not alter the nature of people's daily lives' 05/05/17|
One of the most worrying developments in the second round of negotiations was the EU's declaration that UK nationals living in the EU would have the right to live in their country of residence but no 'further movement rights'. This means that we would be able to continue living where we do, but would not be able to travel, live or work elsewhere in the EU.
This would make UK nationals 'landlocked' in one country of the EU and goes completely against Michel Barnier's promise that people's lives would not change after Brexit (see photo). Stripping Britons resident in the EU of freedom of movement would also go against the EU negotiating guidelines published in May.
The international lawyer and chair of British in Europe, Jane Golding, has produced a detailed document (see link below) that highlights the many legal flaws in the EU's argument:
- the right to residence and free movement are not separate rights but two elements of the same right (you cannot have one without the other).
-free movement, which we have been enjoying for years, is for the whole territory of the EU and is not related to individual nation states
-when a 3rd country national married to an EU citizen is divorced, they do not lose their rights to residence or free movement in Europe. Thus, why should Britons lose this right when their change of circumstances has been imposed on them?
-many Britons have Permanent Residence (5 years in the EU). Third country nationals with PR have the right to free movement within the EU. So why should hundreds of thousands of Britons be worse off?
Ms Golding then goes on to talk about the effects of this interpretation on Britons. One particular impact would be on cross-border workers, of whom there are many. One sort are people who live in one country (say France) and work in another (say Luxembourg or Switzerland). With an end to free movement for UK nationals their lives would become untenable. Other cross-border workers spend periods of time working in one or more countries and this would all stop.
British in Europe has provided detailed case studies (see link below) which illustrate the impact that the huge impact the end to free movement would have on the lives of thousands of people.
EuroCitizens and British in Europe will be campaigning furiously for the EU to reverse its stance on freedom of movement. In the second half of September we will be lobbying of MEPs. Please participate in our e-lobby of UK MPs leading up to a mass lobby in Westminister on 13 September.
BiE document on freedom of movement for UK nationals
Case studies of UK nationals affected by the end to freedom of movement