Brexit Negotiations and EU Citizens’ Rights in Scotland

In June 2016, the UK voted in a referendum (by a small majority) in favour of the UK leaving the European Union. This is often called “Brexit” – short for “British exit”.

However, the UK did not leave the European Union immediately. As you probably know, at this time (December 2018), the Brexit negotiations between the UK government and the European Union are still ongoing. This has a major impact on EU citizens’ rights in the UK; they will no longer be protected by the ‘freedom of movement’ that allowed them to settle in the UK.

! Until the UK leaves the EU, which is due to happen on 29 March 2019, there will be no change to the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

You can read more about Brexit, Brexit negotiations, the Withdrawal Agreement and EU citizens’ rights in one of our multilingual factsheets in English, Polish, Spanish, Romanian, Latvian and Lithuanian. The factsheets answer some frequently asked questions about Brexit and EU citizens’ rights.

You can also read in more detail about the effects the proposed agreement may have on EU citizens’ right to stay, right to vote, right to work, right to access public services, right to education and right to housing here.

Brexit Negotiations and the EU settlement scheme

If the negotiations between the UK and the EU are successful, the most important difference for EU citizens living in the UK will be a need to apply for a ‘Settled Status’. You can read more about it in our ‘Settled Status’ tab.

However, remember that these are still only proposals.

On 6 December 2018, the UK government released a “Policy paper on citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit“. It states there that “the UK will continue to run the EU Settlement Scheme for those resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 in a ‘no deal’ scenario.” For more details on EU citizens’ rights in a ‘no deal’ scenario please consult the paper.