Brexit and Citizens’ Rights

DCU Brexit Institute – Working Paper N. 10 - 2019

30 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2019

See all articles by Catherine Barnard

Catherine Barnard

University of Cambridge

Emilija Leinarte

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 18, 2019


Immigration was a major point of debate and disagreement in the UK during the 2016 Brexit referendum. Following three years of negotiations, the European Union and the UK have come to an agreement – though not yet in a binding form – on the protection of citizens’ rights post-Brexit. This agreement, however, covers only those EU nationals who are living in the UK (and vice versa) at the moment of UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The future mobility framework is yet to be determined. This article discusses what citizens’ rights have been negotiated between the Parties and what the possible mobility regimes for the future EU-UK relationship are. It is suggested that whatever policy is chosen the new regime will be far removed from the free movement notion as is currently enjoyed under EU law. Even more so in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Keywords: Brexit, Immigration, EU Citizenship, UK, Withdrawal Agreement, White Paper

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Barnard, Catherine and Leinarte, Emilija, Brexit and Citizens’ Rights (October 18, 2019). DCU Brexit Institute – Working Paper N. 10 - 2019, Available at SSRN: or

Catherine Barnard

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

Emilija Leinarte (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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