Ambassadors on the European Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee have approved measures to protect EU citizens’ social security in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The contingency regulation ensures that after the UK leaves the EU, citizens of the remaining 27 Member States residing in the UK and British citizens who reside or have previously resided in EU countries will benefit from coordinated social security provision, without prejudice to existing social security arrangements between the UK and other Member States.
The committee is set to inform the European Parliament that if it adopts the proposed measures without any changes to the form, the Council will approve its position. The draft regulation, which is set to be adopted unilaterally by EU Member States, is limited in time and scope; as the measures will only come into effect if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place. As the rules are intended to apply only as a contingency, they will not affect social security conventions and agreements currently in place between the UK and other Member States.
Romania’s Minister of Labour and Social Justice Marius-Constantin Budăi said: “The draft regulation ensures that member states will continue to apply the core principles of EU social security coordination. The contingency measures will guarantee that EU27 and UK nationals, who moved freely within the Union [before Brexit], will continue to benefit from their social security rights acquired before UK’s withdrawal from the Union.”
With 32 days left until the UK leaves the EU, the European Commission, Parliament and Council have been working collaboratively to ensure levels of disruption post-Brexit remain at a minimum. The UK has yet to approve the terms on which it will leave; Prime Minister Theresa May announced yesterday she would delay the “meaningful vote” scheduled for Wednesday 27 February, probably until mid-March.