The fate of EU nationals living in the UK after ‘Brexit’ is finally revealed

By Kalendra Withana

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, is to publish a 15-page document outlining the relevant constitutional rights of EU nationals after UK’s departure from the European Union.

It has been reported that this document has a sole purpose of putting the anxieties felt by EU nationals about their future residence in the UK to “rest”. May herself believes that EU citizens are “an integral part of the economic and cultural fabric” of the UK and therefore wants to assure that they are continued to be granted with the legitimate rights after Brexit.

 Key proposals of this document include the granting of a ‘settled status’ for EU nationals, under the condition that they have been residing in the UK for at least 5 years before the 29th March 2019 (the date that Brexit will commence).

Furthermore, those who arrive into the UK after this cut-off date will only be given a period of two years to authenticate their status in the UK, but this comes with no guarantees.

Once EU nationals have achieved or granted settled status, it is laid out their family members who live abroad will be able to return and apply for a settled status themselves.

It is reported however that the administration of a settled status is a long and difficult process, with 3.2 million applicants needing to be monitored. That being said, the Prime Minister is offering a period of “blanket residence permission” for residents in order to give officials time to process applications.

Theresa May defending her EU national rights offer.

Despite the granting of such rights, there is known to be mass controversy over these negotiations. EU leaders have critically reacted to these proposals, claiming that they are “below expectations” and the UK only has a “long way to go” until full justice is finally supplemented.

Leader of UK’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has also argued that the offer is “not generous” and is “too little, too late”.

Brexit Secretary, David Davis has even said that when it comes to conveying these proposals to the European court of justice (ECJ), there could be some “arbitral agreement” that benefits the document.

“There won’t be the ECJ, there’ll be a mutually agreed chairman and somebody nominated from both sides”, he says. This shows that future Brexit negotiations may be biased in favour of the Prime Minister’s wishes, seen as deals are not negotiated in the language of the traditional European justice system.

Because of this, it is not surprising why EU nationals therefore feel fury towards these plans and have heightened levels of anxiety with regards to their future residence in the UK.

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