The Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom withdrew from the EU on January 31st 2020. It is the first time that a Member State leaves the EU.

The Withdrawal Agreement was approved by the British Parliament and the European Parliament in January 2020. The United Kingdom withdrew from the EU on 31 January 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement lays down the conditions for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, including citizen’s rights.

Read more about the Withdrawal Agreement on the homepage of the European Commission (pdf)

The Withdrawal Agreement provided for a temporary transition period until 31 December 2020.

During the transition period EU rules on Free Movement still applied. Accordingly, British citizens and their family members maintained all rights under the Free Movement Directive from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal until the end of the transition period.  

Part II on citizens of the Withdrawal Agreement entered into force after the expiry of the transition period. The agreement covers all British citizens and their family members legally residing in an EU Member State in accordance with EU Free Movement Rules before the end of the transition period, provided they continue to fulfill the conditions set out in the Agreement.

It follows from the Withdrawal Agreement that British citizens who have legally and continuously resided in Denmark for five years can apply for permanent residence in Denmark. Residence periods that have started prior and under the transition period will be included in the calculation of a right of permanent residence. Thus the right to obtain a right of permanent residence is not affected for persons covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

British citizens, who wish to move to Denmark after the end of the transition period, will as a main rule, have to apply for residence and work permits like other third country nationals. In that connection the Danish Aliens Act will apply.

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

See the European Commission’s fact sheet with questions and answers on the Withdrawal Agreement (new window)

Read the European Commission’s explanation of the Withdrawal Agreement (new window)

Read the European Commission’s guidance note to the Withdrawal Agreement (pdf)