If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved

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If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved, the United Kingdom will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without an agreement with the EU (the no deal-scenario). This means that British citizens by default will be considered as third country nationals after 29 March 2019. The possibility of a continued right of residence in Denmark will therefore in principle depend on national rules applicable to third country nationals. The Danish Aliens Act will thus apply, unless the Danish Government decides otherwise. On 15 January 2019 the British Parliament voted against the Withdrawal Agreement.

Read more about the rules regarding right of residence to third country nationals (new window)

The Danish Government greatly appreciates the British citizens who have chosen to live in Denmark and contribute to the Danish society. The Danish Government wants to avoid that British citizens and their family members who are legally residing in Denmark abruptly fall back on rules applying to third country nationals.

When considering the situation of British citizens in a no deal scenario, the Danish Government has taken due account of the fact that British citizens who resided in Denmark prior to the United Kingdom leaving the EU, have resided here in their capacity of EU citizens.

It is a clear priority for the Danish Government to ensure that British citizens who have chosen to live in Denmark are treated fairly.

In spring 2018 the Danish Government therefore established an inter-ministerial Brexit Taskforce which has been given the task, inter alia, to examine how to handle consequences for citizens in the event of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU on 29 March 2019 without an agreement.

A temporary transitional scheme

If the situation requires it, the Danish Government will put forward a legislative proposal establishing a temporary transitional scheme by which existing EU-rights are extended for a transitional period. The envisaged law is intended to apply to British citizens and their family members, who are legally residing in Denmark on 29 March 2019 in accordance with EU rules on free movement. The EU rules on free movement are implemented into Danish law by ministerial order, the “EU-Residence Order”.

Under the temporary transitional scheme, British citizens falling under its scope will be able to continue to reside and work on basically the same terms as today. As regards family reunification, EU rules on free movement will continue to apply to families that already existed on 29 March 2019. However, children born or adopted after 29 March 2019 will also be covered. The right of permanent residence can also be obtained under the temporary transitional scheme. Moreover, EU registration certificates and residence cards will continue to be valid under the temporary transitional scheme.

If the situation requires, the legislative proposal for a temporary transitional scheme will be put forward in the second half of February 2019 in order for the law to enter into force on 30 March 2019.

If you are a British citizen – or a family member of a British citizen – and living in Denmark under the EU rules on free movement without being in possession of an EU registration certificate or an EU residence card respectively, you are encouraged to submit an application for such documentation before 29 March 2019. The Ministry of Immigration and Integration will inform the EU Commission that registration certificates and residence cards issued in accordance with the “EU-Residence Order” under the temporary transitional scheme will serve as proof of a right of residence in Denmark.

The envisaged law on a temporary transitional scheme will apply until replaced by a permanent solution. The Danish Government will continue the work on a permanent scheme for British citizens legally residing in Denmark, while taking into consideration the outcome of the negotiations in Brussels. The necessary information in this regard will be made available on the existing Brexit homepages (Ministry of Immigration and Integration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Changes in citizens’ rights under the temporary transitional scheme

The envisaged temporary transitional scheme extends almost all of the rights that British citizens enjoy today as EU citizens. However, in a few areas those rights will not be extended. This is the case in two areas: The rules regarding removal and the rules on family reunification.

As regards the right to family reunification, the favorable rules applying to EU citizens will apply only to family members of British citizens who were legally residing in Denmark on 29 March 2019, provided that the family life existed before 29 March 2019 and the conditions set out in the “EU- Residence Order” are met. However, children and adoptive children born or adopted after 29 March 2019 will also be covered by the favorable rules. This solution will protect British citizens and their family members who have already established a family life in Denmark at the time of withdrawal.

Read more about the right of residence under current EU rules at the State Administration (new window)

Applications for family reunification with regard to family relations established after 29 March 2019 will be handled in accordance with the rules of the Danish Aliens Act.

Read more about the rules on family reunification for third country nationals under the Danish Aliens Act

The Danish Government is furthermore proposing that EU rules on enhanced protection against removal shall not apply to British citizens who e.g. commit crime. The Danish Aliens Act will apply.

See the most frequently asked questions and answers on citizens’ rights in the no deal-scenario

See the EU Commission’s fact sheet with questions and answers in the no deal-scenario (PDF)

What can you do now

Under the temporary transitional scheme, which broadly extends existing EU rights, residence documents that have been issued in accordance with EU free movement rules will continue to be valid.

You do not need to do anything now, if you have already once been issued with a document or card, which confirms your right of residence in Denmark under the EU rules on free movement.

If you are a British citizen or a family member of a British citizen residing in Denmark under the EU rules on free movement without being in possession of an EU registration certificate (issued for EU citizens) or an EU residence card (issued for third country nationals), or without having applied yet, you are encouraged to submit an application for such documentation before 29 March 2019. This will make it easier for you to prove that you have a right of residence, and, conversely, make it easier for the Danish authorities to determine that you are residing legally in Denmark on 29 March 2019.

If you are British citizen or a family member of a British citizen with a right of permanent residence in Denmark under the EU rules on free movement, without proof of such right (a letter or a card issued by the authorities), you are encouraged to submit an application to the State Administration before 29 March 2019, if you haven’t already done so.

Applications for registration certificates and residence cards are submitted to the State Administration (see contact information below).

It should be stressed that your right of residence is not lost, if you haven’t been issued with one of the documents mentioned above. Your right of residence is not dependent on the document.

This information will be updated regularly.

Read more about what you can do if you have lost you EU residence document

Read more about the right of residence under current EU rules at the State Administration (new window)

British citizens coming to Denmark after 29 March 2019

British citizens and their family members arriving in Denmark after 29 March 2019, or who are not residing legally in Denmark under the EU rules on free movement on 29 March 2019, are not covered by the temporary transitional scheme.

This means that British citizens and their family members who intend to move to Denmark after 29 March 2019 to work or study etc., will have to apply for residence and work permits in accordance with national rules like other third country nationals.

Read more about the rules regarding the right of residence of third country nationals (new window)

Sidst opdateret 01.02.2019