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Joint statement from the UK government and European Commission following the 14th meeting of the Specialised Committee on Citizens’ Rights

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Joint statement from the UK government and European Commission following the 14th meeting of the Specialised Committee on Citizens’ Rights

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EU and UK discuss residence rights, legal clarity, and travel issues affecting Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries.

The 14th meeting of the Specialised Committee on Citizens’ Rights took place on 6 June 2024 in Brussels, co-chaired by officials from the European Commission and the UK government, with representatives from EU member states in attendance.

The meeting addressed the implementation and application of citizens' rights as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement, emphasising both non-permanent and permanent rights of residence. This platform allowed both parties to review progress and identify outstanding issues.

Key points of discussion included:

  1. EU Concerns:

    • Implementation of the UK High Court's ruling regarding the Independent Monitoring Authority's case on residence status under the UK's EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
    • Legal clarity for EU citizens under the EUSS about whether their rights are guaranteed by the Withdrawal Agreement or domestic law.
    • Travel incidents affecting EU citizens who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.
  2. UK Concerns:

    • Evidence of permanent residence rights for Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries in member states.
    • Provision of appointments to acquire residence cards and guidance on required evidence.
    • Family reunification rights and provision of free visas for joining family members.

The discussion also covered the EU’s EES (Entry/Exit System), ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), and the UK’s ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), focusing on their implications for Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries.

Additionally, a segment of the meeting was dedicated to engagement with civil society organisations representing EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, emphasising the importance of external input.

Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to fully implementing the Withdrawal Agreement, with plans to reconvene in the autumn for further discussions.

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