What does leaving the EU mean for EU citizens in the UK?

Published: 28th Jun 2016

This briefing is largely based on the briefing by the House of Commons Library ‘EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas’. The opinions and judgements it contains are theirs. We expect to review and add to these articles periodically as events develop.

Following the referendum result the Prime Minister said:

“I would also reassure Brits living in European countries, and European citizens living here, that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances. There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.”

During the campaign neither the Leave or Remain campaigns suggested that EU citizens living in the UK will have to leave now that we have voted to leave the EU.

The House of Commons Library suggests that one possibility is for those from the EU who have the ‘right to reside’ in the UK already to be allowed to remain even after the UK exits the EU. This would mean that EU free movement laws would continue to be a significant influence over UK immigration controls for years after the UK’s exit.


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