EU: Brexit Transition Status of Expat Employees Settled

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By Andrea Barbara Schuessler

European Union citizens will continue to have resident rights in the U.K. and British citizens in the EU during a 21-month Brexit transition period agreed to by the European Council March 23.

“We agreed that British citizens and EU27 citizens who arrive [in a new country] during the transition period will benefit from the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived before Brexit day,” EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said March 19.

“The 4.5 million citizens, British and European, who have been concerned about and worried by Brexit since day one have been our priority,” Barnier added.

The U.K. will officially leave the EU effective March 30, 2019, and the transition period will continue through 2020, during which “status quo” period the U.K. and the remaining 27 members of the EU will continue to function as through the U.K. were still a member state. The agreement will cover both workers currently resident in the other jurisdiction and those seeking new residence status through the end of the transition period.

In addition, the U.K. will retain all the advantages and benefits of the Single Market, the Customs Union, and EU policies through the end of 2020, Barnier said, but will not participate in the union's decision-making process.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Barbara Schuessler in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

For More Information

The Brexit guidelines adopted by the European Council March 23 are available here.

For more information on European Union HR law and regulation, see the European Union primer.

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