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EU27 and UK citizens’ acquired rights in the Brexit withdrawal agreement: detailed analysis and annotation

EU Law Analysis Blog – Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex: “The issue of the acquired rights of EU27 and UK citizens has long been a focus of this blog. The latest development in this field is the proposed rules in the Brexit withdrawal agreement on this issue, as recently tabled by the Commission. This follows on from the partial agreement on this issue in the joint report agreed by the UK and EU27 in December, which I analysed here. (Note that the health law implications of this part of the agreement were already discussed here by Professor Tamara Hervey, who proposed some additional amendments). It remains to be seen whether the UK agrees to the Commission proposal on these issues; although a large part of the proposal reflects the December agreement in general terms, some points were left open and inevitably a legal text fleshes out points of detail which might not have been fully agreed in the previous, more political, text. Even if the UK and EU27 side do agree on all the content of these proposals, there is a risk that this agreement is torpedoed because of failure to agree on (or ratify, if agreed) the rest of the withdrawal agreement. For that reason I have argued that the agreement on these issues ought to be ring-fenced, ideally as soon as possible but certainly if the main talks fail. I have also suggested the text of a ring-fenced treaty on citizens’ rights, simply extracting the relevant text of the Commission proposal.   While the Commission proposals go a long way to guarantee the acquired rights of all concerned, there are still many possible omissions and uncertainties. I have pointed to all those I could discover, in particular as regards: EU27 citizens or UK citizens who return to their state of nationality; the non-EU parents of UK children; carers and others who have not had “comprehensive sickness insurance” as defined (rather questionably) by the UK, and did not realise they needed it; other aspects of the “settled status” proposal; data protection rights; dual citizens of the UK and another Member State; and the loss of free movement rights by UK citizens in the EU27. On all of these issues – and more – I have proposed amendments. I hope the blog post is particularly useful to those negotiating the withdrawal agreement, and those campaigning for amendments (see also the detailed proposals of British in Europe, for instance)…”

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