The Children’s Commissioner for England calls for clarity on Brexit

Date: 24th July 2017
Category: General measures of implementation

The Children's Commissioner for England has written to the EU's chief negotiator and the UK's minister responsible for leaving the EU calling for clarity on the residency rights of EU nationals living in the UK.

Almost 600,000 children in England are EU nationals without British citizenship, more than half of whom were born in the country. The implications of the negotiations for children are huge and will determine whether children will be forced to leave school, friends and family members. The letter to the EU calls for the issue of the residency rights of children to be resolved early in the negotiation process, while the British government is asked to set out proposals on specific issues, including citizenship rights, whether children's eligibility for residency will be reliant on that of their parents, and the ability of children to study overseas.

Ms Longfield said: "The EU said they wanted to make residence rights of EU nationals the first thing to be agreed during the negotiations.

"Yet their proposal makes residence rights dependent on ECJ jurisdiction, something which won't be agreed until the end of the negotiations.

"If the EU genuinely want to resolve the question of residence rights of EU nationals, they need to separate out the two issues to enable a negotiation in good faith which can give certainty to the hundreds of thousands of children and their families left in limbo."

The Commissioner added: "Two more years of uncertainty feels like a long time to a child."