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If the EU and the United Kingdom approve the Withdrawal Agreement

It is the first time that a Member State leaves the EU. That is a very special situation. It remains the Danish Government’s hope that the British Parliament approves the Withdrawal Agreement, which has been agreed upon by the British Government and the 27 EU Member States.

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In November 2018, the British Government and the EU27 reached an agreement on the Withdrawal Agreement. However, on 15 January 2019 and 12 March 2019, the British Parliament voted against the Withdrawal Agreement. On 13 March 2019 the British Parliament voted against a 'Hard Brexit'. On 14 March 2019 the British Parliament voted for an extension of the withdrawal date.

On 10 April 2019, the European Council agreed on an extension of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU. The final deadline is now set for 31 October 2019, with the possibility that the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU before this date if the withdrawal agreement is approved on an earlier date. It is therefore still uncertain when the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

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

If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, British citizens who have made use of their free movement rights in Denmark on the withdrawal date in accordance with the EU Residence Order will be able to continue residing in Denmark also after the withdrawal date on terms, which overall correspond to the terms under EU rules on Free Movement.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a temporary transition period from the withdrawal date to 31 December 2020 with the possibility for prolongation of one or two years.

Part II on citizens of the Withdrawal Agreement enters into force upon expiry of the transition period on 1 January 2021. Meanwhile, EU rules on Free Movement will apply. Accordingly, British citizens and their family members will maintain all rights under the Free Movement Directive from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal until 31 December 2020. The Free Movement Directive has been implemented into Danish law by the ministerial order, the EU-Residence Order.

The transition period implies that all British citizens, legally residing in an EU Member State before the end of the transition period, will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, inter alia by the rules on residence rights. British citizens and their family members will furthermore continue to enjoy their right of free movement and be able to legally reside in another EU Member State from the withdrawal date and until the end of the transition period.

From 1 January 2021, the Withdrawal Agreement, if approved, will regulate the right of continued residence and work for British citizens and their family members who reside legally under the Free Movement Directive before this date. These rights will be preserved for as long as the conditions in the Withdrawal Agreement are met.

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. British citizens who have resided legally in Denmark for less than five years will be able to apply for permanent residence in Denmark after five years of legal residence in Denmark.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for the possibility to introduce a scheme under which citizens can submit an application for residence status before the agreement enters into force on 1 January 2021.

Information about the envisaged application procedure will be made available, when the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, on the Brexit webpages of the Ministry of Immigration and Integration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As regards the conditions to be met by British citizens, who wish to return to Denmark after 1 January 2021, i.e. upon expiry of the transition period, they will depend on what is agreed by the EU and the United Kingdom as to the future relationship. This can only be agreed upon, when the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the EU. British citizens and their family members who wish to enter and reside in a Member State after 1 January 2021 will have to apply for residence and work permits like other third country nationals. In Denmark, 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 (pdf) (new window)

Sidst opdateret 24.07.2019