British citizens living in Spain and other parts of the EU will retain their rights to social benefits acquired prior to the withdrawal in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the EU announced on Tuesday that it would safeguard any social benefits and entitlements based on employment, residence or insurance which may have been obtained before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The contingency measures will be in place before the UK’s withdrawal and would mean that Brits living in one of the EU 27 member states and Spaniards living in the UK, would continue to enjoy the benefits even if there was a no-deal.
Measures will only come into force if the UK leaves the EU with a no-deal and will be assessed after one year of implementation with a report submitted to the EU Parliament and MEP’s.
The plans will need to be approved with a vote between the 11th and 14th of March, with a requirement that the legislation is also published prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Jean Lambert (Greens/EFA, UK) said: “Citizens' rights have always been a priority for the European Parliament. This contingency legislation at least establishes the bare bones of social security rights and entitlements for people finding themselves in a very difficult situation.”
Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE) said: “Europeans who have exercised their right to free movement must not become collateral damage in any Brexit scenario. The European Commission is committed to bringing forward necessary legislation to bridge any gaps and ensure that those who exercised their right to free movement do not lose out post Brexit.”
Source: European Parliament