Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Part of UK in Austria

10th January 2019 Vienna, Austria

No Deal Brexit: EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in Austria

In recent days there have been a number of media reports about the implications of a no deal Brexit on the rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and the rights of British citizens in the EU. To avoid any misunderstandings, I would like to lay out the position of the British government.

Since the beginning of Brexit negotiations, the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the rights of British nationals in the EU and EFTA member states have been a priority for the British Government. The chapter on citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement ensures that citizens’ rights will broadly remain the same as now, subject to ratification. The ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement remains the aim of the British Government.

However, in order to provide absolute certainty to EU citizens in the UK, including the 25,000 Austrians living there, on 6 December the UK Government published a policy paper on citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit.

The paper represents a unilateral commitment on the part of the UK that EU citizens resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be able to live, work and study, and to access in-country benefits and services such as education and healthcare on broadly the same terms as they do now. EU citizens and their family members will be able to apply for residence under the new EU Settlement Scheme (which will include all the aforementioned rights) until December 2020. Contrary to recent media reports, EU citizens based in the UK would not have to become British citizens in order to continue to live and work in the UK.

British nationals in Austria are understandably worried about what their rights will be in case of a no deal Brexit. As such we hope that Austria will reciprocate this offer and guarantee the rights of British citizens in the event of a no deal Brexit as well. We would welcome public details from the Austrian government as soon as possible. A series of countries such as the Netherlands have already made clear that they will protect the rights of British citizens even in the event of a no deal Brexit.

9 comments on “No Deal Brexit: EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in Austria

  1. My name is Ben and I’m a first year Law Student. I’ve set up my own Blog about current affairs, Brexit obviously playing a key role in todays climate, and I’m basically scouring the internet for those whose opinion could offer me food for thought so to speak. Whether or not you, agree or disagree with my opinions etc, id really appreciate the read and/or hopefully critique.

    https://blawggered.blogspot.com/2019/01/18-months-of-brexit-negotiations-and.html

    1. Thanks for your comment and the link. Blogging can be a great way to reach people, especially if you publish regularly, so stick with it!

  2. I married an English Man 42 years and used to have ” indefinate leave” stamp in my old Austrian Passports. At present my Austrian Eu passport does not have that stamp. Do I need to register or can I show my old passports to get new stamp for indefinate leave back?

  3. Thank you for the update. It all sounds reassuring for Austrians in the U.K. up to the political speak “on broadly the same terms as now”. What does that mean?’,what will be different for Austrians in the UK.

    What do you believe the status of UK citizens resident in Austria on 29th March in the event of a no deal Brexit will be, based on the situation today?

    1. Thanks for your comment. The Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU, if passed by the UK parliament and European governments, protects the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. You can find more information about what this means for EU nationals in the UK here: https://eucitizensrights.campaign.gov.uk/

      The UK government has published information on ‘no deal’ for UK nationals living in the EU here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-uks-exit-from-the-eu-important-information-for-uk-nationals

      In the event of a no-deal, the Austrian Government will have to advise on what the situation will be for UK nationals living in Austria. We have been encouraging them to make a public statement on this as soon as possible, to give British nationals certainty about their rights.

      Whether there is a deal or no deal, the embassy will share the important information for UK nationals in Austria on our “Living in Austria” guide. You can sign up for email updates here: https://www.gov.uk/email-signup/?topic=/world/living-in-austria

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.

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