We have reached an agreement on citizens’ rights which means that EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU before the end of the implementation period will be able to continue living their lives broadly as they do now. And as part of our agreement to have an implementation period, individuals will continue to be able to move, live and work on the same basis as now up until the end of December 2020. [To prepare for the future, a registration system will apply to EU citizens arriving during the implementation period and staying for more than three months in the UK.]
EU citizens are integral and valued members of communities here in the UK. ln the year to June 2017 there were 3.3 million EU citizens (excluding lrish nationals) living in the UK and we greatly value their contribution. UK nationals also play an equally important role in communities in the EU. Ln January 2017, almost 800,000 British citizens were living in the EU (excluding lreland) and in 2016, over 40,000 long-term UK emigrants went to live in EU countries.
But as we move to a new relationship with the EU after the implementation period, the Government will bring an end to free movement for EU citizens entering the UK. lt will be for the UK Government and Parliament to determine the domestic immigration rules that will apply to EU nationals in future. We are considering very carefully the options for our future immigration system to make sure it works for all parts of the UK, including Scotland, Wales, Northern lreland and all parts of England. Further details on proposals for our future immigration system for EU nationals will be set out in due course.
Nevertheless, the Government also believes that it would be desirable to underpin some aspects of continued mobility between the UK and the EU with reciprocal arrangements in a new framework, to support the close links between our people and our economies that will continue after we leave. The UK’s future immigration rules would incorporate any mobility provisions agreed with the EU, in the same way they currently do in respect of our international agreements with other trading partners. This framework would represent what we agree reciprocally, allowing the UK and the EU to set their own rules in all areas (be that in relation to immigration, social security, healthcare or related matters) where no commitments are taken.
The EU Council guidelines set out their desire to agree ambitious provisions on the movement of natural persons, as well as related areas such as coordination of social security and recognition of professional qualifications, providing a common basis on which to start these discussions.
Our future mobility relationship should be seen in the context of the wider deep and special partnership we are seeking with the EU. Mobility falls under the economic partnership – as it does in every trading agreement – and therefore discussions on this matter will take place in tandem with wider discussions on trade and market access. Under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, trade agreements covering services are required to include provisions on the mobility of people (known as ‘Mode 4’ commitments).
We want our future UK-EU economic relationship to be as broad and deep as possible, and will therefore seek to agree reciprocal commitments in our Free Trade Agreement with the EU that build on the’best in class’ examples of Mode 4 provisions globally. These should also be wide in scope, recognising that mobility of people will underpin many areas of our future relationship. Mobility is a key element of economic, cultural and scientific cooperation – supporting professional service providers to reach clients, performing artists to develop a fan base, advanced manufacturers to deploy key personnel to the right place, and scientists to collaborate on world-leading projects.
There are also some commitments that we would like to agree with the EU, such as youth mobility, elements of social security coordination and border arrangements that go beyond those covering temporary mobility for businesses and service providers. We therefore propose agreeing such commitments in a separate but linked mobility framework. This mobility framework would build on existing precedents to facilitate EU-UK mobility in a way that delivers on the UK Government’s commitment to end free movement of people.
In this context, some of the areas that we intend to discuss with the EU on migration-related mobility matters are:
- arrangements that allow UK nationals to visit the EU without a visa for short-term business reasons, and guarantee equivalent arrangements for EU citizens coming to the UK. ln 2016, UK residents made approximately five million business visits to the EU,111 while there were over seven million business visits by EU residents to the UK – we want both UK and EU businesses to continue to be able to send employees quickly and with minimal restrictions for shortterm business activities;
- the need for reciprocar provisions across ail sectors to ailow UK and EU-based companies to move staff between offices and plants in the EU and the UK;
- the need for reciprocal arrangements across all sectors to facilitate mobility of self-employed professiona ls, employees providing services in the UK and the EU as well as investors setting up new businesses and branches;
- the need for visa-free travel arrangements for tourists. ln 2016, UK residents made pproximately 48 million non-business related visits to the EU, spending €23 biilion and EU residents made over 18 million non-business rerated visits to the UK, spending £7.6 biilion;
- the reciprocal practical arrangements that will be in place when UK EU and nationals cross their respective borders in future. This will include exploring the application of electronic travel authorities to each other’s nationals. lt may also include the arrangements for those that work in the UK but live in the EU, and vice versa. Border arrangements are particularly critical at the Gibraltar-Spain border which is crossed every day by thousands of workers from EU Member States;
- how we ensure that administrative burdens for permission to travel to, enter or reside in each others’ territories are minimised, including short, simple and user-friendly application processes;
- how we provide opportunities for EU and UK students to continue to benefit from each other’s world leading universities, including cultural exchanges like Erasmus+. ln 2016/17, 133,640 EU domiciled students were studying in UK Higher Education lnstitutions. ln 2015, the UK ranked in the top 3 destinations for EU bound students from 25 EU Member States. There were also 30,223 Erasmus students from the EU who studied in the UK in 2016/17. See chapter 4.4 for our wider proposals on education and culture;
- how we ensure that young people in the EU and UK can continue to enjoy the benefits of social, cultural and educational exchange, for example as language assistants or au pairs;
- the need for mobility provisions for scientists and researchers to underpin our science and innovation pact. See chapter X for further information on our proposals for science and innovation;
- the need for arrangements to ensure that EU citizens and UK nationals who do not have a right to enter or reside in their host country, for example foreign national offenders, can be returned to their home country;
- how to provide onward movement opportunities for UK nationals in the EU who are covered by the citizens’ rights agreement.
Suitable provisions in these areas should allow for the essential movements of people consistent with our deep and special future relationship with the EU, whilst reflecting our status as a third country. [The mobility framework will not preclude the UK, the EU or individual Member states from requiring that nationals from each other’s countries obtain permission to travel, enter or remain in the respective country, from taking appropriate measures to protect the public from serious crime and terrorism or from applying national family reunion rules.]
And we will also discuss wider mobility areas such as the future rules around social security coordination. where we would seek a reciprocal system for UK and EU nationals who are able to live, work or retire in the EU or the UK in the future. This could cover:
- arrangements relating to the uprating of state pensions including export rules and accompanying aggregation principles for people who have contributed into multiple countries’ systems;
- a set of rules to determine how workers pay social security contributions, to ensure that individuals only pay contributions to one state at a time;
- reciprocal healthcare access for state pensioners retiring to the EU or the UK, continued participation in the European Health lnsurance Card (EHlC) scheme for people currently staying in the UK or EU and cooperation on planned treatment; and,
- any necessary administrative cooperation and data-sharing requirements to support a reciprocal system of social security coordination.
- how we ensure that professional qualifications obtained by UK nationals will continue to be recognised in EU in future, and vice versa. For more information how we think this could work, please see the section on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications in chapter X of this paper on services.
The principle of non-discrimination between existing Member States should apply to all provisions agreed as part of the mobility framework.
Our proposals as set out in this chapter are without prejudice to the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements between the UK and lreland, including the associated reciprocal rights of UK and lrish citizens in each other’s countries, and also the Crown Dependencies. We have already agreed with the EU that these arrangements can continue, as set out in the December Joint Report. We are firmly committed to maintaining the CTA and the associated rights privileges. and Irish citizens will continue to enjoy a special status in the UK provided for by domestic legislation distinct from the status of other EU nationals.