Citizens’ rights under the withdrawal agreement

Finland’s primary objective in the withdrawal negotiations was to secure the rights of citizens. Part two of the withdrawal agreement (articles 9–39) contain provisions that secure the status and rights of EU and UK citizens and their family members on a reciprocal basis.

The rights would be secured for life as they are at the end of the transition period, in accordance with key EU legislation. Key legal acts include the regulation on the coordination of social security systems and the regulation and directive on the free movement of persons and workers.

Free movement of persons would continue unaltered until the end of the transition period. The withdrawal agreement would secure the rights of all persons who have exercised their right of free movement before the last date of the transition period. According to the withdrawal agreement, the transition period would end on 31 December 2020, at the earliest.

Article 4 of the withdrawal agreement is also important from the point of view of citizens’ rights. In accordance with the article, in proceedings before UK administrative authorities and courts, EU citizens can always rely directly on the provisions on citizens’ rights specified in the agreement, which take precedence over the national laws of the UK.