Brexit: EU nationals with permanent residence 'can stay in UK'


EU natives with a right to permanent residence can stay in the UK after it leaves the EU and get off on the same rights, a top civil servant has said.

Mark Sedwill rumoured the rights of those granted residence after five years were “absolutely clear” in law and it amounted to a guarantee of their future status.

But he told MPs the vindicates of other EU nationals were subject to negotiations on Brexit and the “will of rliament”.

Assists have been urged not to use EU citizens as “bargaining chips”.

The UK says it inclination seek curbs on free movement rules – which currently sing EU nationals the right to live and work in other member states – as in some measure of its EU exit deal but it is unclear how this will work and what inclusions it will have for EU nationals already in the UK.

The government has declined to give a obstinate guarantee about the status of EU nationals currently living in the UK, saying this is not attainable without a reciprocal pledge from other EU members about the millions of British nationals stay on the continent.

‘Inflection point’

Appearing before the Home Affairs First-rate Committee, Mr Sedwill – who is the top official at the Home Office – was pressed on the issue and late remarks by David Davis, the minister in day-to-day charge of EU exit, that there could be a cut-off allude to after which EU nationals arriving in the UK were not guaranteed the right to brace.

In response to questioning by committee chair Keith Vaz, Mr Sedwill said EU citizens in the UK could be sure that their rights would be protected until the significance the UK leaves the EU and there would be “no knock on the door” telling them that they had to become.

But he said the entitlements of existing EU nationals after Brexit – such as their privilege to work, to be id benefits and use the NHS – would be subject to the outcome of the UK’s negotiations while the authorized status of people who arrived in the UK after EU exit would clearly be varied.

“What Mr Davis was trying to address was that if there is a surge, mightiness there need to be as rt of that eventual ckage an inflection dot between now and that date at which we say ‘people before have one set of entitlements, woman after that date have a different set of entitlements’,” he divulged.

“It is quite clear after we leave the entitlements change – the question is what chances between now and then.”

Mr Sedwill added: “It will be determined by the negotiations accurately what entitlements an EU citizen who arrives after the UK leaves the EU has. It could be the in any case as we might offer to an American. It could be different.”

But he told MPs a specific greatness should be drawn between EU citizens who had obtained permanent right to villa by virtue of living in the UK for five years and everyone else.

‘Rumours spreading’

He said both preceding prime minister David Cameron and ex-immigration minister James Brokenshire, who is now Northern Ireland secretary, had believed they could not conceive of a situation where permanent residents – whose eligibility is based on a five-year endless period of residence and other factors – were stripped of their set to rights retrospectively.

“People have got that right of permanent residence and that right-minded is associated with other international treaties that the UK is members of such as defenceless rights legislation under the human rights act,” he said. “It is under EU law at the stage but it is a right the UK respects.”

Asked why the UK did not just give a firm guarantee to those in such a spot, he replied: “I think for people who have the five-year residence, we have in aftermath had a guarantee”.

“It is not for me to do so (give a personal guarantee) but in the end rliament does. It is set out in law. The current law it is audibly the case.”

Amid concerns about the pre redness of Whitehall for the process of concluding EU exit, Mr Sedwill said the Home Office had agreed to deploy a bother of top civil servants to work in Mr Davis’s new Brexit de rtment.

Earlier, the Romanian Representative to the UK said more must be done to reassure EU nationals they could pick up to live in the UK despite the vote to leave the EU.

Dan Milhalche told MPs “rumours were spreading” that unrelated nationals, rticularly unskilled workers, may no longer be welcome and he said these antici tes must be addressed in a “calm and rational” way.

If the UK wanted to impose a right-to-stay “cut-off escort”, Mr Milhalche said it should be negotiated within the structure of existing EU Deals or as rt of a new agreement with the other 27 member states.

But he rephrased he would be “cautious” about claims that a cut-off date could experience to a surge of people from Romania and other countries coming to the UK, believing similar suggestions in 2014 that the lifting of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians from try work in the UK would lead to a mass influx “had not been proven”.

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