Paris sets out mobility conditions between France and UK

United Kingdom – Mobility of people – Reply by the office of the Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a written question in the Senate

Paris, 10 June 2021

Since the United Kingdom gave notice of its intention to leave the EU in 2017, the EU has consistently spoken with one voice. The French authorities have been especially involved in the follow-up to negotiations with the UK in order to achieve a balanced relationship protecting the interests of the EU and France.

With regard to the mobility of people, the UK took the decision to reduce the partnership to the minimum, rejecting all in-depth provisions in the negotiations leading to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. However, the EU took a position of support for ambitious provisions on the movement of British and European citizens. On 1 January 2021 the British Government introduced a new migration system whose stated goal is to attract skilled immigration, particularly in the science sector, which meets the British economy’s needs, and to free itself of dependency on a European workforce.

Consequently, [EU] nationals who wish to go and work on British territory will now be subject to the demands of the points-based system, including the threefold requirement to have a job offer from an approved sponsor, obtain a job with an appropriate level of skills, and possess a certain level of proficiency in English.

However, it should be emphasized that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed on 29 December 2020 provides for a reciprocal exemption when it comes to short-stay visas (three months in the European Union, six months in the UK), subject to full reciprocity, and provisions on the coordination of social security systems which are favourable to the movement of British and European citizens.

Moreover, British and European citizens who moved prior to 31 December 2020 may continue to live, study and work under the same conditions as before, since their rights are guaranteed by the agreement setting out the details of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In close coordination with their European partners, the French authorities will continue to promote an open approach to dialogue with the UK in this field and others, with due respect for the EU legal framework and certain essential rules like the reciprocity principle between British and European citizens./.

Published on 15/06/2021

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