The hospitality industry has initially welcomed the agreement that the rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK will be protected following Brexit.
In a joint announcement this morning from the UK government and the EU, Europeans living in the UK will be allowed “to live, work or study as they currently do under the same conditions as under Union law”.
Citizens from the EU will be able to continue moving to the UK until 29 March 2019, the day that the UK leaves the EU. Anyone who arrives before that date will have the right to stay, including those who have not been granted permanent residency in the UK – this they will be able to achieve after the withdrawal date.
Spouses and partners who do not live in the UK before Brexit day will be able to join their relatives in the UK at a later date.
However, any EU citizen who leaves the UK for five years or more will lose their residency rights. All EU citizens remaining in the country will have equal access to social security, healthcare, education and employment.
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) welcomed the announcement that “sufficient progress” had been made in Brexit negotiations and that talks will now turn towards a trade deal.
“This includes an agreement on EU and UK citizens’ right to work and live in the UK and across the EU, which the ALMR has been pressing for,” said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the ALMR.
“It is now critical that an agreement is brought forward as soon as possible that avoids tariffs on food and drink and non-tariff barriers, to begin to return certainty to businesses. In the short-term it is vital that a transitional phase is agreed and a pathway set out for businesses to plan their investment and employment decisions.”
The British Hospitality Association declined to comment.