Post-Brexit Future: EU Ponders a Way to Keep EU Citizenship for UK Nationals

Written by | Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

The European Parliament is going to consider a plan that would allow British citizens to keep their EU citizenship along with its benefits once the UK leaves the block. The proposal has been put before a parliamentary committee as an amendment and it would make the UK nationals have the right to retain “associate citizenship” of the EU. “Associate citizens” could move across the EU freely as full citizens currently do and would be also allowed to vote in European Parliament elections, meaning they would still have representation in in Brussels.

The proposal has been submitted by Charles Goerens, a liberal MEP from Luxembourg, and it will be considered by the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is preparing a report with recommendations on “Possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional set-up of the European Union”. The proposal, or so-called Amendment 882, would give young Brits a greater choice over where to move to and where to study or work.

Amendment 882 suggests the provision of “European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to be part of the European project but are nationals of a former Member State; offers these associate citizens the rights of freedom of movement and to reside on its territory as well as being represented in the Parliament through a vote in the European elections on the European lists”.

The proposal has not been welcomed by Brexit campaigners who argue that it would discriminate against Leave voters and that it was “an outrage”. While the UK government has not specified much on what the country’s post-Brexit future will look like, it is very probably that the move will include the loss of the automatic right to work and live in the EU for British nationals.

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