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Brexit Blog

Home Office provides information on citizens' rights agreement

18 Dec 2017
Pavement with Union Jack flag superimposed with shadows of people walking past

The recent breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations – with ‘sufficient progress’ being achieved on phase one issues – has provided greater clarity regarding the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and of UK citizens in the EU.

Securing these rights has been the number one priority for IoD members in the Brexit negotiations. Around 40% of members work with companies that employ at least one EU migrant.

The Home Office has circulated further information on what the agreement means for EU citizens in the UK:

"The agreement will help the millions of EU citizens who have made their lives in this country, as well as UK citizens living in the EU, plan for the future as valued members of UK society.

"It means that EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now.

"The agreement means close family members, as well as children born or adopted, will be covered after Brexit. After they have been granted settled status, recipients may be absent from the UK for up to five years without losing it. Professional qualifications gained before the UK’s departure from the EU will continue to be recognised mutually. Applying for settled status will be easy, include a presumption that people are, by default, eligible so that most applications will be successful, and will include a full right of appeal.

"The agreement also provides certainty on healthcare, pensions and other benefits: EU citizens who have paid into the UK system can benefit from what they’ve already put in and continue to benefit from existing coordination rules for future contributions. Those covered by the agreement will be able to continue to receive healthcare as they do now.

"There will be a transparent, smooth and streamlined process to enable EU citizens to apply for settled status starting in the latter half of next year for two years after the UK leaves the EU – from 2018 to 2021. The per person cost will be no greater than the cost of a UK passport."

The Government offers more information, available here.


Stephen Martin, IoD Director General

Stephen Martin

Stephen Martin became Director General of the IoD in February 2017. As the public face of the IoD and the most senior representative of the membership, Stephen is the voice of UK business in the media and engages with senior figures from across government, politics and Whitehall.

Previously he led privately owned Clugston Group, a construction, logistics and property company based in Scunthorpe. Originally from Northern Ireland, Stephen has been recognised with several construction industry awards, and has been highly commended twice in the IoD’s own Director of the Year Awards. In 2009, Martin also took part in the first series of Channel 4’s Undercover Boss.

Contact Press Office

Donjeta Miftari, Head of Communications  

020 7451 3285


Euan Holmes, Press Officer

020 7451 3280


Press office