The Government and the European Union have ratified the Withdrawal Agreement, which provides citizens with the certainty they need about their rights going forwards.
During the time-limited transition period, until 31 December 2020, UK nationals are able to live, work and travel in the EU broadly as they do now - and vice versa for EU citizens coming to the UK. After the transition period, UK nationals who are lawfully residing in a Member State will be able to stay - and vice versa for EU citizens lawfully residing in the UK. Member States can choose whether to require UK nationals who are lawfully resident by the end of the transition period to apply for a residence status to confer their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. Member States may allow applications for residence to be made voluntarily during the transition period. However, any decisions made during this time has no effect until after the end of the transition period. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, any new residency systems that are put in place must be open until at least 30 June 2021, subject to extension in certain circumstances.
The Government is working closely with Member States on their implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement during the transition period via our network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates. We are also providing the latest advice to UK nationals in the EU via our Living in Guides on gov.uk. The Specialised Committee on Citizens' Rights oversees the implementation and application of Part Two of the Withdrawal Agreement. Any breaches that we are aware of leading to a loss of rights for UK nationals, during the transition period or in the future, will be raised through this forum and escalated to the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee if required.