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Citizens' rights

In its November Communication, the European Commission has invited EU Member States to adopt a generous approach to the question of the rights of UK citizens in the EU, conditioned by the adoption of such an approach by the United Kingdom towards EU citizens. Member States were further invited to guarantee that UK citizens living as permanent legal residents in the EU on the day of the withdrawal would be able to continue living in those Member States as legal residents.

In the event of an agreed-upon withdrawal, during the validity of the Withdrawal Agreement or the subsequent transition period, Slovene citizens will be able to travel to the United Kingdom, as they can today. During the transition period, they will also be able to travel to the United Kingdom only with their ID cards; even if the final decision has not yet been reached, this option will most likely expire at the end of the transition period. EU citizens wanting to obtain employment in the United Kingdom will have to get an appropriate visa. The process is expected to be identical to the one currently in force for third country citizens that seek employment in the United Kingdom.

The UK Government has announced that even if the Withdrawal Agreement was not confirmed, the current travel regime would remain in force, granting the option to travel with a valid ID card issued by an EU Member State. On the EU side, the European Commission has similarly announced a draft regulation on the exemption of UK citizens from EU visa obligations, granting visa-free travel, this being conditioned on the exemption of EU citizens from UK visa obligations.

With regard to EU citizens, including Slovenes and their family members who already reside in the UK, the UK Government has announced that no changes are expected concerning their status, rights of residence, employment, or health and social security; even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, these issues will be dealt with in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement. EU citizens residing in the UK before 29 March 2019 will be able to continue living in the UK as by now. They will thus be able to work, study and enjoy the same benefits and services in the UK as before.

As other EU Member States, Slovenia has been preparing measures aimed at regulating the status of UK citizens residing in Slovenia in case of a withdrawal without an agreement.