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House of Commons Hansard
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UK Citizens: Rights in EU
28 February 2019
Volume 655
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19. What steps his Department has taken to ensure that the rights of UK citizens living in the EU are protected in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. [909506]

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The UK Government have been unequivocal that, under any scenario including no deal, EU citizens and their family members living here at exit will be able to stay. We are calling on member states to reciprocate that unilateral offer for UK citizens. Alongside that, the Government supported an amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire (Alberto Costa) yesterday to seek to ring-fence the citizens’ rights part of the withdrawal agreement. We will write to the European Council to seek its views on this as soon as possible.

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I thank the Minister for his answer. Following the Government’s acceptance last night of the amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire, which I was pleased to support, what action will they now take to introduce the necessary legislation to safeguard EU citizens’ rights in this country and also to protect UK citizens in the EU?

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My hon. Friend raises a very important point. We have already introduced some of the legislation for the settled status scheme to ensure that it is available for EU citizens in the UK. Of course, safeguarding the overall package for UK citizens in the EU will require a reciprocal agreement. It is for that reason that we will be writing to the European Council to raise the issue and seek to take forward talks on it as early as possible.