BiE Response to Agreed Legal Text

Brexit withdrawal agreement: English Cheddar will have more free movement rights than Brits in Europe

The European Commission has published the agreed legal text for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In response, Jane Golding, Chair of British in Europe said:

‘Contrary to what David Davis and Michel Barnier are saying, this document provides no more certainty for the 1.2mn British people living in the EU 27, EEA and Switzerland than they had this morning.
Not only does the text look as though it has been rushed out under pressure but in his statement, Mr Barnier once again said that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, meaning there will not be legal certainty for the 4.6mn people most directly affected by Brexit until the agreement is finally signed off.

Furthermore, it seems that Article 32 – which covered restrictions to our future cross border working rights and free movement – has now vanished.   And yet, it is still referred to in other parts of the text.

So, while we are pleased that this restrictive provision has been removed, we are confused and nervous about what might replace it.   And we should not read too much into the article’s removal, as neither does it change the substance of the agreement nor mean that we have suddenly been allowed to keep free movement.  In fact, the agreement is as clear as mud when it comes to our future rights to move and work across the EU, either as people falling under the Withdrawal Agreement or as third country nationals.

With 80% of British people living on the continent working age or younger, free movement and its associated cross border economic rights are a necessity not a nice to have for many.   Small business owners including IT consultants, caterers and musicians all rely on it in order to provide for themselves and their families now, and after Brexit.

As things stand, after Brexit English cheddar will have more free movement rights than we will.

As such, any withdrawal agreement will not provide certainty or security for UK nationals living in Europe until we know for sure that it includes guarantees on free movement and cross border working.’


Key facts on Brexit and citizens’ rights

For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact

Laura Shields
+ 32 (0) 497 409 884

The draft agreement can be seen in full here:


Photo: © European Union , 2018   /  Source: EC – Audiovisual Service   /   Photo: Mauro Bottaro

3 thoughts on “BiE Response to Agreed Legal Text”

  1. You did well burning the midnight oil …also about Current Residence Permits and aquired rights.

    its a text book definition of what the United Nations Charter on Human Rights 1948 ..was about.

    Enforcing those rights is something else of course

    Ask your lawyers ..who can enforce those rights?

  2. Weird is in germany if you are a citizen outside the EU you can get a EU work visa which DOES entitle you to FOM.
    Yet as a Brit who has lived over 25 years in Germany i cant get one!
    We have even LESS rights than non EU Citizens after Brexit. Surely this could be legally challenged!

  3. Don’t articles 22 and 23 cover the rights of extant frontier workers to continue?
    It also seems to me that recognition of professional qualifications has been addressed.

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