Lords to investigate rights of EU citizens post Brexit

09 September 2016


The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee, under the Chairmanship of Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, will begin its short inquiry into the consequences of Brexit for the rights currently enjoyed in the UK by EU citizens, workers and companies on Tuesday 13 September, with evidence from leading academics.

The UK’s Membership of the European Union has meant that British and EU citizens enjoy the right to move, work and operate throughout the EU’s Single Market. The UK’s decision in June to leave the European Union has placed great uncertainty as to the extent to which these rights will continue to operate outside of the EU.

This inquiry will provide the Committee with the chance to answer the crucial question: whether the rights already exercised under EU law by UK nationals will be legally enforceable as ‘acquired’ and, therefore, still enforceable once the UK leaves the EU. The Committee will also explore the importance for safeguarding EU rights of the contents of any potential withdrawal agreement negotiated between the UK and the EU.

The House of Lords EU Committee and its six Sub-Committees are conducting a coordinated series of short inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Taken as a whole, this programme of work will be the most extensive and thorough parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.

The Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Professor Douglas-Scott, Anniversary Chair in Law at Queen Mary University of London
  • Professor Vaughan Lowe QC, Essex Court Chambers

The Witnesses will be questioned on:

  • The potential content and operation of any withdrawal agreement negotiated between the UK and the EU for safeguarding EU rights.
  • The utility of other instruments of international law, such as the ECHR, as a means for protecting EU law based rights post-Brexit.

The evidence session will take place at 11:00am on Tuesday 13 September, in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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