The European Parliament is to consider a plan that would allow British citizens to opt-in and keep their European Union citizenship – and its associated benefits – once the UK leaves the EU.
The proposal, which has been put before a parliamentary committee as an amendment, would grant the citizens of former member states the voluntary right to retain “associate citizenship” of the EU, such as after Brexit.
Associate citizens would be allowed to keep free movement across the EU as full citizens currently enjoy and would be allowed to vote in European Parliament elections, meaning they were still represented in Brussels.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
The proposal could potentially give Brits who live and work across borders a workaround to the disruption caused by the Leave vote – and young people looking to flee an increasingly insular UK greater choice over where to move to.
Amendment 882 was proposed by Charles Goerens, a liberal MEP from Luxembourg. It will be considered by the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee, which is drawing up a report with recommendations on “Possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional set-up of the European Union”.
Brexit campaigners in Britain reacted with anger to the idea, arguing that it would discriminate against Leave voters and that it was “an outrage”.
The amendment suggests the provision of “European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to be part of the European project but are nationals of a former Member State; offers these associate citizens the rights of freedom of movement and to reside on its territory as well as being represented in the Parliament through a vote in the European elections on the European lists”.
Though the British Government has been coy on what it wants Britain’s post-Brexit future to look like, it is likely that British citizens will lose the automatic right to live and work in the EU after Brexit.
This is because Prime Minister Theresa May has made clear that she would like to restrict freedom of movement from EU countries to the UK, a policy that would likely be reciprocated by the EU for British citizens.
Jayne Adye, director of the Get Britain Out campaign described the proposal as divisive and said it was “totally unacceptable” for British people to retain the advantages of EU membership.
“This is an outrage. The EU is now attempting to divide the great British public at the exact moment we need unity. 17.4 million people voted to Leave the EU on 23 June and as a result the UK as a whole will get Brexit,” she said.
“Brexit means laws which impact the people of the UK will be created by accountable politicians in Westminster. It is totally unacceptable for certain citizens in the UK to subject themselves to laws which are created by politicians who are not accountable the British people as a whole. Discriminating against people based on their political views shows there are no depths the EU will not sink to.”
Britain voted to leave the EU at a referendum in June but has not yet begun the negotiation process. The Government is currently embroiled in a legal battle over whether it can trigger negotiations using Royal Prerogative, without consulting Parliament.