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UK plan to register EU citizens would be illegal, say MEPs

Britain will have to register ‘everyone or no one’ in Brexit transition, says cross-party group after Amber Rudd outlines plans. The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has been warned by a cross-party group of MEPs that her plans to force EU nationals to add their names to a register in the transition period immediately after Brexit would be illegal and unacceptable to the European parliament.

The MEPs from across Europe have written to Rudd following her suggestions to the home affairs committee that she would expect EU nationals to have to register with the authorities in the period immediately after Britain left the EU. Brussels is planning to insist that a transition period after the UK leaves in March 2019 would involve Britain remaining under EU law and all its institutions, without exception.

The MEPs wrote: “Is the Home Office suggesting that only non-UK EU citizens needs to register? Article 26 of the freedom of movement directive makes it very clear that residency cards are for everyone, or no one.

“We find it extremely troubling for the home secretary of a member state currently complying with EU laws to make such a statement.”

The MEPs – Sophie in ’t Veld, Seb Dance, Claude Moraes, Jean Lambert, Beatriz Becerra, Cecilia Wikström and Catherine Bearder – said: “We also heard you say during the committee hearing that those EU citizens who fail criminal records checks may be rejected.

“Article 7 of the freedom of movement directive clearly states the necessary areas of compliance for an EU citizen to reside in a member state and criminality is not one of them.”

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