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​Petition for UK Expats to Keep Their EU Citizenship

When Brexit finally happens, which could be from 29 March 2019, UK expats currently living and working in the Canary Islands, Spain and many other EU countries will lose their EU citizenship rights, including all those living in retirement in these countries.


This week in a press release from the EU, permission was given to a group by the European Commission to launch a petition calling for permanent EU citizenship to be available after Brexit, which is backed by the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI).

This petition is of vital interest to all UK expats currently living and working in the Canary Islands, but needs a minimum of one million people to sign this. If at least this number of people living in at least seven of the 28 EU member states sign this petition, then the European Commission must respond.

UK expats are likely to lose their EU citizenship in March 2019 or at the end of the proposed transition period (if agreed) in December 2020. It currently seems that there is a possibility of a no-deal scenario for Brexit, which would mean sudden change for UK expats in March 2019.

This new concept of EU citizenship will not replace UK nationality, but is meant to be additional to national citizenship. If agreed by the European Commission, this EU citizenship will grant specific rights, such as the right to vote in local and European elections, as well as stand as candidates, and the right to travel and live anywhere in the European Union.

EU citizenship will also give UK expats diplomatic protection and consular help from any EU country wherever they are in the world, even if their own country does not have a local embassy.

Therefore, this petition asks people who want to keep their current acquired rights as citizens of the European Union after Brexit to be allowed to do so.

Currently, it is reported that there are 900,000 UK expats living across the 27 other EU member states, but there could be many more than this, because after 15 years, expats are no longer able to vote in UK elections, and so contact is lost with these people, and many others live in EU countries without formally registering with local authorities. For more information:


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