EU citizens’ rights concerns stagger Johnson’s Brexit plan
Share article:
Share article:

EU citizens’ rights concerns stagger Johnson’s Brexit plan

© Belga
Credit: Belga
© Belga

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered his first parliamentary defeat since the December elections on Monday, after the Lords rebuffed his Brexit plan for European citizens’ rights after leaving the EU.

Peers voted 270 to 229 to pass a cross-party amendment to the European Union Withdrawal Bill, which is designed to allow EU citizens resident in the UK to have physical proof of their right to stay after Brexit on 31 January.

An estimated 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK have to apply for permission to stay in the UK after Brexit, but the amendment would allow them the automatic right to stay, rather than having to apply to the Home Office, and would ensure they can get physical proof of their rights, the Guardian reports.

In a tweet after the vote, Home Office minister Brandon Lewis expressed his disappointment in the result, arguing that the EU Settlement Scheme is “secure, digital status which can’t be lost, stolen or tampered with.”


On a visit to London last week, the European Parliament’s Brexit referent Guy Verhofstadt also expressed concern about the lack of physical documents to “guarantee with certainty” people’s status.


The vote means that the Brexit bill will return to the House of Commons. If MPs reject the change, the bill will go back to the Lords, with the potential to repeat until one side folds.

The Lords will vote on Tuesday on another controversial amendment to the Brexit Bill, concerning the rights of unaccompanied refugee children to be reunited with their families in the UK.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...
Brussels café managers ask for security guards following stabbing over vaccination proof
Managers of cafes in Brussels are asking to be provided with security guards if they’re to continue enforcing rules surrounding proof of vaccination, ...
1.6 tonnes of drugs, 27 suspects: Belgian police bust major gang
The Belgian police and public prosecutor's office arrested 27 suspects and seized 1.6 tonnes of drugs, over €80,000 and a number of weapons in a ...
75% more sexual violence victims seek help in Brussels since summer
There has been a 75% increase in the number of people asking for help from the Brussels Centre for the Treatment of Sexual Violence (CPVS) since the ...
European Commission outlines possible action against the rule of law crisis in Poland
In a speech at the European Parliament plenary on Tuesday morning, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen listed three options for action against ...
PFOS contamination found in air around 3M factory
Months after unsafe levels of the chemical PFOS were discovered in the water and soil in the vicinity of a 3M factory in Antwerp, in addition to in ...
Belgium is global leader in plastic recycling and bioplastic innovations
Belgium is among the best-performing countries when it comes to innovation in plastic recycling and researching alternative plastics technologies, an ...