As the final Brexit date approaches, EU-member state governments are putting in place specific plans for British nationals living within the EU after March 29, 2019.  Earlier this week the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (“IND”) shared a template letter it will begin sending to UK nationals legally residing in the Netherlands regarding the continuation of residence post Brexit in case there is no withdrawal agreement ratified between the UK and the EU.  Key points contained in the letter include:

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has ruled that spouses of the same sex are covered under the EU law providing for freedom of residence to EU citizens and their family. In a June 5, 2018 Press Release, the ECJ explains “[a]lthough the Member States have the freedom whether or not to authorize marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory.”

The ECJ’s judgment arises from a case brought by a Romanian national who was unsuccessful in securing residency rights in Romania (which does not legally recognize same-sex marriage) for his same-sex spouse, a US citizen whom he had married in Brussels. The residency request was based on an EU Directive guaranteeing the freedom of movement and residence to EU citizens and their families; this EU directive allows the non-EU “spouse” of an EU citizen to join his or her EU spouse in the member state in which the EU spouse is living. The couple brought an action before the Romanian courts, which then asked the ECJ to decide whether a same-sex spouse may be regarded as the “spouse” of an EU citizen under the freedom of movement directive. In its June 5 press release, the ECJ states that “in the directive on the exercise of freedom of movement the term ‘spouse,’ which refers to a person joined to another person by the bonds of marriage, is gender-neutral and may therefore cover the same-sex spouse of an EU citizen.”

On the day EU leaders gathered in Brussels to discuss the Brexit transition deal (March 22, 2018), Mayer Brown partners Liz Stern and Nick Robertson, together with Paul Sarauskas and Jad Taha, hosted the latest in our series of interactive workshops, “Preparing for the changes in free movement that Brexit heralds.”  Clients across multiple industries including financial services, consulting, life sciences, and insurance attended, providing a valuable opportunity to discuss the actions that employers should take now.  The slide deck is available here.

Plans are already underway for our next Brexit-focused event.  If you are interested in attending, please contact LON-events@mayerbrown.com.

The invocation by the government of the United Kingdom of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which allows a member state to notify the European Union of its withdrawal from the Union, took place on 29 March 2017. A two-year negotiation is now in place, and 29 March 2019 is the official date on which withdrawal  – the “Brexit” – is slated to occur.   During this interim period leading to the 2019 withdrawal date, freedom of movement rules continue to apply.  We discuss below the changes envisioned and rank risk depending on the region and status of workers currently capitalizing on reciprocal citizens rights.

Continue Reading As Brexit Looms, What Actions Should Employers Take Now To Protect Employee Rights Later?