A third of EU ‘considering new status for Brits'

uncertainty over a possible no deal Brexit as Dominic Raab meets Michel Barnier

At least a third of EU27 states are considering making British people in the EU apply for a new kind of status after Brexit, similar to the UK’s planned ‘settled status’, according to The Guardian.

However French representatives gave no view, the newspaper claimed, quoting ‘EU sources’ following a technical seminar on Friday when EU officials discussed post-Brexit registration procedures for Britons in the EU.

The Connexion contacted the European Commission – however they were unable to confirm the report.

A ‘settled status’ approach differs from, for example, the current process of applying for a carte de séjour as an EU citizen in France because the latter is meant to prove a status that you have already acquired by virtue of being a European living legally in another EU state for a certain period, whereas the former means applying to be granted a new right.

Because the UK wants a new status, the draft EU exit agreement allows other states to reciprocate if they wish. Around 10 are ‘minded’ to copy Britain whereas most of the rest consider it is better and simpler to stick with existing procedures, according to The Guardian.

There was no indication as to whether there would be efforts to harmonise one approach across the 27 states.

Campaigners for the rights of Britons in the EU consider that it will be preferable to retain the so-called ‘declaratory’ system we have today – declaring (and proving with documents) that you have acquired a right, not asking to be granted one.

Having said which, experiences of Connexion writers and readers show that despite having a ‘declaratory’ system, obtaining a card is not automatically simple unless there are efficient processes in place and staff are well-briefed.

Whichever system is adopted in France it is unlikely Britons after Brexit (or after the transition period) will be able to go on living legally with no form of card at all as at present all non-French or non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens require cards to prove their right to live in France.

EU states (including France) will therefore have to work out what kind of card Britons will have to hold and if for those who already hold cards as an EU citizen it will be necessary and appropriate to swap them for one of the existing kinds for third-country citizens.

EU sources told Connexion it was too early to speculate on these details however member states had all expressed their wish to ensure a smooth and orderly implementation of the rights agreement, maximising certainty for those concerned and minimising the burden of administrative procedures.

Last month the French Interior Ministry advised that Britons should apply for the existing EU cards to ‘get into the system’ as soon as possible. The draft exit agreement says those with these should be able to exchange them later – if necessary – for another kind with minimal formalities and the ministry has made its own pledges on this.

The June edition of The Connexion newspaper, out later this week, will feature a page of Brexit updates relevant for Britons living in FranceWe will also be publishing a helpguide to Brexit and Britons in France on June 21. 

Previous stories:

Apply now for cartes, ministry tells expats 

Permanent residents are priority, says ministry official

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