Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Carolina
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Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Carolina » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:23 pm

What does the draft Withdrawal Agreement mean for us UK Citizens in the EU?

Boris Johnson will bring his Withdrawal Agreement back to Parliament. Because he has a majority it's pretty sure to be ratified, which now means that the UK will almost certainly leave the EU on (or even before) 31 January 2020.

That's bad news and less bad news for us. The bad: the UK would leave the EU and we would lose our EU citizenship on Brexit day. The less bad news: the Withdrawal Agreement does a pretty good job protecting the rights of UK citizens in the EU (as long as it remains unchanged by Johnsons's government).

Two key dates
31 January 2020
The first key date is obviously exit day itself - 31 January 2020 (earlier if agreed by both sides). This is the point at which we would lose our voting and political rights and wouldn't be able either to vote or stand as a candidate in the 2020 municipal elections. But we would retain all our other current rights - including freedom of movement - until the end of the transition period - see below.

31 December 2020
The second key date is the end of the transition/implementation period, which would begin on Brexit day and last until 31 December 2020. This date - known as the 'effective date' - is crucial, as it's the date on which you must be 'legally resident' (in Greece) to have your ongoing rights covered under the WA. This includes people who have moved to Greece after Brexit day but before the end of transition on 31 December 2020, who will be covered by the WA on the same terms as those resident before Brexit day itself.


A December 2020 no deal?
The Withdrawal Agreement, once passed through parliament, would remain in place as an international treaty and the rights that it includes for us would remain covered. They cannot be removed even in the absence of a trade agreement. Once the Withdrawal Agreement is in force, we will be covered by it for our lifetimes whatever happens with future negotiations.


Other points worthy of note :_

1) The current conditions for legal residence under EU law will apply. After 3 months you have to be working/self-employed, self-sufficient, a student or a family member of any such person. People who are self-sufficient or students have to have health insurance (for pensioners or others who hold one, the S1 form is sufficient).

2) Reciprocal healthcare is agreed, so that those who have an S1 or will be eligible for one when they retire will still have their healthcare funded by the UK.

Above synopsis (edited) from https://www.francerights.info/2019/11/w ... draft.html? - and there is more info on this link.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Kilkis » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:37 pm

I agree with the summary but I would make two comments:

    1 The Withdrawal Agreement has to be approved by the EU Parliament once it has been passed in the UK Parliament. Normally I would expect this to be nailed on BUT Johnson is talking about altering the agreement to remove the section that allows for a possible extension if the negotiation on the future deal is not concluded by 31 December 2020, i.e. negotiations will cease on 31 December 2020 even if a deal on future relationships has not been agreed and the UK would then trade with the EU on WTO terms. I am not sure how the EU Parliament or the Council will react to such a change, so the Withdrawal Agreement coming into force is not 100 % certain. If you look at Sterling against the Euro and the US$ you can see what the markets thought about this move.
    2 I haven't looked at the latest Withdrawal Agreement in detail but, as far as I can remember, continuing reciprocal agreements on healthcare and pensions were only temporary to 31 December 2020 under the May agreement. Beyond that they are dependent on what is negotiated in the future relationship. If Johnson does change the Withdrawal Agreement to make leaving on 31 December 2020 mandatory whether there is a deal on the future relationship or not, healthcare beyond that date is not guaranteed.

Warwick

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Sinkingslowly » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:46 pm

This bit of the WA must have slipped past me,

"the Withdrawal Agreement would remain in place as an international treaty and the rights that it includes for us would remain covered. They cannot be removed even in the absence of a trade agreement. Once the Withdrawal Agreement is in force, we will be covered by it for our lifetimes whatever happens with future negotiations."

I thought that the transition was time limited and would end in 2020 thus removing all our rights unless renegotiated.
If this is not the case then anyone here with a registration card will be ok whatever happens.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Carolina » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:21 pm

Further clarification from British in Europe group-

The media is not helping us at the moment by using interchangeable terms for things that are quite separate. So:

1)This week Johnson is bringing to Parliament the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, and will use his majority to pass it at second reading before the recess. It's in this bill that he intends to insert a clause barring an extension to the Withdrawal Agreement. BUT
This is NOT the same thing as the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) itself.

2)The Withdrawal Agreement has already been approved by the European Council and cannot now be amended without further negotiation (which ain't going to happen). The WA contains an article (Article 132) allowing an extension of 1 or 2 years to the transition period if it's requested by July 2020. Clause 132 will remain in the WA even if Johnson's bill passes with his proposed amendment barring an extension, which means that the UK government could change its mind on extending the transition period at any point up to July 2020, just by passing a new bit of legislation.

3)The media is now using the term 'deal' to relate to the trade deal that has to be struck during the extension, and the terms 'no deal' and 'crashing out' to the situation where no trade deal can be agreed. Confusingly, these are the very same terms that they used to denote the UK leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement, but the meaning is very different.

4)As I hope you all know by now, once the Withdrawal Agreement becomes law - expected on 31 January 2020 - then our future rights that are contained within it are guaranteed whatever happens with the future trade deal. So a failure to conclude a trade deal might be a 'no deal' situation for the UK, but not for us. We can't say this enough, as it's important and the subject of much confusion and concern.

5)Once the WA becomes law, the 'no deal' legislation already passed in each of the EU27 countries becomes defunct, and we then have to wait for each country to publish details of how it intends to implement the WA for its British residents.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Carolina » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:25 pm

Kilkis wrote:
2 I haven't looked at the latest Withdrawal Agreement in detail but, as far as I can remember, continuing reciprocal agreements on healthcare and pensions were only temporary to 31 December 2020 under the May agreement. Beyond that they are dependent on what is negotiated in the future relationship. If Johnson does change the Withdrawal Agreement to make leaving on 31 December 2020 mandatory whether there is a deal on the future relationship or not, healthcare beyond that date is not guaranteed.[/list]

Warwick


Apparently reciprocal healthcare (S1) & pensions are fully covered under the Withdrawal Agreement. I haven't read it all, but this is according to the Rights groups for UK citizens in EU.

Kilkis
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Kilkis » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:56 am

PART TWO of the Withdrawal Agreement deals with CITIZENS RIGHTS and is mostly concerned with Directive 2004/38/EC. Within PART TWO, TITLE III deals with COORDINATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS and is mostly concerned with Regulation (EC) No 883/2004. Unfortunately this Regulation covers a lot of areas of Social Security including Pensions, Healthcare and other benefits. From the wording of TITLE III it is very difficult to sort out exactly which part of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 each statement is referring to. Statements tend to refer back to Clauses within Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and it is extremely tedious trying to cross reference all the time to understand what is being said. The only specific mention I can find concerning healthcare relates to treatment started before the end of the transition period being able to continue. Article 32 contains the following:

    (b) the rules set out in Articles 20 and 27 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 shall continue to apply to persons who, before the end of the transition period, had requested authorisation to receive a course of planned health care treatment pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, until the end of the treatment. The corresponding reimbursement procedures shall also apply even after the treatment ends. Such persons and the accompanying persons shall enjoy the right to enter and exit the State of treatment in accordance with Article 14, mutatis mutandis;
    (c) the rules set out in Articles 19 and 27 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 shall continue to applyto persons who are covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and who are on a stay at the end of the transition period in a Member State or the United Kingdom, until the end of their stay. The corresponding reimbursement procedures shall also apply even after the stay or treatment ends;

I cannot find any other reference to healthcare continuing beyond the end of the transitions period. I am not saying it won't but I am not certain that it will. It is certainly true that ARTICLE 39 states that:

    The persons covered by this Part shall enjoy the rights provided for in the relevant Titles of this Part for their lifetime, unless they cease to meet the conditions set out in those Titles.

It is not clear to me, however, if ongoing S1 type healthcare is one of "the rights provided for in the relevant Titles of this Part"? If anyone has a contact in the Rights groups for UK citizens in EU it would be useful to ask them if they can reference the relevant articles in the agreement.

I suspect, but don't know for sure that the same is true of pension uprating for inflation. I receive a Greek pension based on both my UK NI contributions and my Greek IKA contributions. I only receive a percentage of the pension in proportion to the relative years of contribution but without including NI I would not be entitled to a Greek pension at all. I have a feeling that the Withdrawal Agreement is protecting my right to continue receiving that pension and also the rights of people who do not yet receive a pension and who have contributions in both countries also having them taken into account when assessing their pension entitlement. I have a strong feeling that it does not protect my right to have my UK pension uprated in the same way as UK residents. I could be wrong.

Warwick

PS An EU spokesman being interviewed on Sky did confirm that the Withdrawal Agreement itself could not be changed and that the Clause allowing the UK to request an extension of the negotiating period will remain in it. It is up to the UK government whether they wish to include in UK law something which prohibits them from asking for that extension so I think the Withdrawal Agreement will most probably pass through both the UK Parliament and the EU Parliament.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Keltz » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:22 am

Carolina wrote:
Kilkis wrote:
2 I haven't looked at the latest Withdrawal Agreement in detail but, as far as I can remember, continuing reciprocal agreements on healthcare and pensions were only temporary to 31 December 2020 under the May agreement. Beyond that they are dependent on what is negotiated in the future relationship. If Johnson does change the Withdrawal Agreement to make leaving on 31 December 2020 mandatory whether there is a deal on the future relationship or not, healthcare beyond that date is not guaranteed.[/list]

Warwick


Apparently reciprocal healthcare (S1) & pensions are fully covered under the Withdrawal Agreement. I haven't read it all, but this is according to the Rights groups for UK citizens in EU.


And I think this is the intention as said in October by a EU memebr state in parliament "The Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the European Union and the United Kingdom remained intact and nothing was changed with regards to citizens’ rights, debts to be paid, and the transition period, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said in Parliament today.".

Citizens rights are covered in the UK by the Settlement Scheme as described on UK Gov web site:

"Your rights with settled or pre-settled status

You’ll be able to:

work in the UK
use the NHS for free as you do now
enrol in education or continue studying
access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
travel in and out of the UK"

It will be up to EU member states to individually provide reciprical arrangements, which the above statement by Joseph Muscat looks like their intention.

Further from the UK Gov web site "Currently, students or economically inactive people exercising their rights of free movement under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) must hold comprehensive sickness insurance in their host state. Article 18 of the WA permits the UK and EU Member States to require proof of this insurance when considering whether to issue residence documents after Brexit. However, Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes has confirmed the UK will not impose this requirement on those applying under the settled status scheme."

As we are still in the situation that nothing has been officiall signed off then anything can change. However the intention to make minimal change to UK/EU citizens living in each others country seems to hold as confirmed by Caroline.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Kilkis » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:16 pm

I agree with the Muscat statement that "The Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the European Union and the United Kingdom remained intact and nothing was changed with regards to citizens’ rights, debts to be paid, and the transition period". I don't think anything did change in these sections of the agreement between the May agreement and the Johnson one BUT I don't think continuation of healthcare under the S1 scheme beyond the transition period was in the May agreement either.

The problem, Keltz is that the way the UK works on healthcare and the way the rest of the EU operates are not the same. The NHS is a residence based healthcare provision. If you permanently reside in the UK you are entitled to treatment under the NHS even if you do not contribute to NI. If the UK grants permanent residence to EU citizens already living there it automatically grants them healthcare under the NHS unless it specifically excludes it. That would be true of self supporting people such as pensioners as well as all other groups.

The rest of the EU operates on a contribution basis. If the EU gives UK citizens permanent right to reside it does not automatically grant us healthcare. For anybody working here it is not a problem. They will be contributing to the insurance system in the country where they reside and they will get healthcare on the basis of those contributions. I was in that category in Greece from 1997 to 2011. For those who can afford and can get private health insurance it is not a problem. It is, however, a problem for those of us who cannot afford or cannot get private health insurance, especially if having health insurance is a condition to exercise our right to reside, i.e. obtain the necessary documents.

I would be highly delighted to be proved wrong but I would like somebody to tell me which Article in the agreement grants me this continued healthcare under the S1 scheme, or some equivalent, because I cannot see it.

Warwick

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby YoMo2 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:22 am

Kilkis wrote:.....I would be highly delighted to be proved wrong but I would like somebody to tell me which Article in the agreement grants me this continued healthcare under the S1 scheme, or some equivalent, because I cannot see it.

Warwick


Me too. Seems there's a lot of wishful thinking going on.

Andrew

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Keltz » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:59 am

I am not surprised that the WA does not mention the S1 as it is a high level document covering principles not process. There is intent from both sides as discussed in this letter to the EU from UK gov.

https://britishineurope.org/wp-content/ ... arnier.pdf

As Warwick mentioned it is Section 2 of the WA that covers citizens rights and they have not changed from May's WA first put to parliament. Spain have committed to continued UK citizens rights providing the UK does the same with Deal or no Deal Brexit. We have to hope that Greece and other EU countries do the same but I doubt the EU will get a coordinated approach on this until the UK formally commits and votes through the WA.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Carolina » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:28 am

Kilkis wrote:
I cannot find any other reference to healthcare continuing beyond the end of the transitions period. I am not saying it won't but I am not certain that it will. It is certainly true that ARTICLE 39 states that:

    The persons covered by this Part shall enjoy the rights provided for in the relevant Titles of this Part for their lifetime, unless they cease to meet the conditions set out in those Titles.

It is not clear to me, however, if ongoing S1 type healthcare is one of "the rights provided for in the relevant Titles of this Part"?


Withdrawal Agreement 19th October 2019
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... munity.pdf?

TITLE III Article 30 (page 51 & 52) on COORDINATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS seems to cover the ongoing/lifetime cover.

Point 1 persons covered, including 1(d) United Kingdom nationals who reside in a Member State, and are subject to the legislation of
the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period, as well as their family members and survivors'

Point 2 ' The persons referred to in paragraph 1 shall be covered for as long as they continue without
interruption to be in one of the situations set out in that paragraph
involving both a Member State and the United Kingdom at the same time.'

Article 31 (page 59)
'The rules and objectives set out in Article 48 TFEU, Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council1 shall apply to thepersons covered by this Title.'

REGULATION (EC) No 987/2009 is the law for the coordination of social security systems. Details here (bottom of the page) https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content ... 32009R0987

ARTICLE 32 just seems to be an addition for special circumstances.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Kilkis » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:01 pm

A minor, but possibly important, point, Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 is the law for the coordination of social security systems, not Regulation (EC) No 987/2009. The latter defines the procedures for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004. Article 48 TFEU does not appear to be directly relevant as it defines the procedures for amending Treaties. No doubt it is relevant to the EU and UK authorities, since the Withdrawal Agreement will be a Treaty, but not directly relevant to this discussion.

I am not being critical just trying to add clarity.

Warwick

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby Phil C » Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:16 pm

Hi all,
Sorry to ask such a base question but time is a little tight for me possibly. I am in the process of buying a property in Crete. I will use this for extended stays with my wife who may stay a little longer. My question is do I need to register for residency before 31 January 2020 or can it wait later but before 31 December 2020?
I have a tax number and bank account is being sorted as I type. Hop to have the deal completed in January 2020. Obviously it would be ideal if this helped me maintain rights as they are now. I am aware of the 90 day rule. I hope I have made myself clear I am a little concerned I could miss the first date. Thank you for any reply.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby BST » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:13 pm

Do it as soon as you can. If you are here, do not delay!

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement and Our Rights

Postby bobscott » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:34 am

Given that Alberto Costa and particularly Roger Gale, both UK MPs are actively pursuing the question of continuing healthcare for UK pensioners in the EU AFTER the expiry of the period covered in the WA, and based on my own limited reading of the regs, I am assuming that continuing healthcare is still very much a live 'issue' and is not guaranteed (except for people who will be undergoing a course of treatment at the time of the expiry (Dec 2020) . I THINK I have seen somewhere that rises in state retirement pension will continue after Dec 2020 - but that may be just mis-remembering/interpretation.

The biggest problem at the moment is that there appears to be nothing going on regarding UK pensioner expats in Greece, whereas France and to an extent Spain are making definite proposals. There seems to be nothing of substance coming out of Athens or the UK.
Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!


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