A joint statement by the Specialised Committee on Citizens’ Rights between the European Commission and UK government:
The eighth meeting of the Specialised Committee on Citizens’ Rights was held on 16 September 2021, co-chaired by officials from the UK government and the European Commission. A number of representatives from EU member states were also in attendance. The Committee has been established by the Withdrawal Agreement to monitor the implementation and application of the Citizens’ Rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement, which protects UK nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the UK, including their family members.
The UK and the EU discussed the implementation and application of the Citizens’ Rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement, noting the upcoming deadline for applications in Finland and the Netherlands. The Committee calls upon UK nationals living in Finland and the Netherlands to apply by the deadline on 30 September 2021, if they are yet to do so.
The EU reiterated concern raised since August 2020 regarding the compatibility of the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme with the Withdrawal Agreement, noting it was not giving legal clarity to EU citizens, who hold a new residence status, as to whether their rights are guaranteed by the Withdrawal Agreement or UK immigration law. The EU expressed concern that EU citizens will lose their residence status if they do not apply for settled status before their pre-settled status expires and called upon the UK to resolve these issues.
The EU welcomed the UK plans to improve the protection of EU citizens who have applied for a new residence status after the end of the grace period on 30 June 2021 and asked for clarifications. The EU raised additional concerns about the issuance of certificates of application, the rights of extended family members of EU citizens with EEA family permits and the possibility to apply for a new residence status from within the UK by family members who join EU citizens resident in the UK. The EU asked for further details about travel with national identity cards after 1 October 2021.
The UK raised a series of concerns regarding misapplication of the Withdrawal Agreement in several EU member states. The UK reiterated concern that UK nationals continue to experience difficulties when seeking to access benefits and services, with reference to examples of discrimination on the grounds of nationality and compliance with the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The UK reiterated concern that non-compliant administrative procedures continue to negatively impact UK nationals when applying for a new residence status or document, resulting in applications not being accepted or certificates of applications not being issued, which has prevented UK nationals from accessing rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK also asked about failures in implementation of the safeguards and appeal rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement and called upon the EU to resolve these issues. The UK asked for assurances over the implementation of late applications policies for UK nationals.
The UK and the EU noted the importance of maintaining an open and constructive dialogue and reaffirmed their shared objective of ensuring the correct implementation and application of the Citizens’ Rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK and the EU, for the benefit of their citizens.
A fifth joint report on residence was also discussed. The UK and the EU agreed to meet again in December where a sixth joint report on residence will be discussed.