Concerns of European citizens following a Brexit result in the Referendum

Following a vote in favour of leaving the EU by the UK in the European Referendum, no doubt many European citizens and their family members will be concerned about their future in the UK.

At this stage all that can be said is that immediately there is no change for anyone who is a European citizen already residing in the UK. Although the country has voted to come out of the EU, right now the UK is still in the EU and will be until the terms of their exit have been finalised.

Under European Union law the UK can invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which would give the UK a minimum of 2 years in which to negotiate the country’s exit from the EU and the terms on which this will operate, including how this will affect European migrants from the UK and to the UK. This has not yet been done and the Prime Minister has announced Article 50 will be invoked in October this year.

We would predict at this stage that it is highly unlikely that anyone who has permanent residence in the UK will be affected.

Those already exercising Treaty rights who do not have permanent residence in the UK may or may not be affected but they will need to wait to hear what the UK and European governments negotiate for them. We would advise, however, that it would be wise for them to document their status in the UK by making an application to the Home Office and we would be happy to assist with such applications.

We would expect transitional provisions to be put in place to protect the rights of EU citizens who migrated to the UK with legitimate expectations of being able to settle here under European Union laws. Nothing has yet been announced however and it is premature to say more. We will update our website once more is known. “