European Commission to introduce biometric residence permits for British nationals in the EU
By the end of this year when the Brexit transition is complete, the European Commission wants to introduce an EU-wide biometric residence document for all British people living in the European Union, writes Politico.
The biometric residence permit would serve as proof of residence and of status. It would be distributed by the EU country of residence for use after December 31.
The implementing decision, which lays out the entire plan, could be requested for review by the British citizens living abroad. In this document, the Commission emphasizes the importance it places on the rights of EU and UK citizens.
As stated in the Withdrawal Agreement, some member states will introduce a mandatory registration system for UK nationals, while others that recognize them as residents will release a document to confirm their status in the country. UK nationals will also be able to use these permits to access public services.
The biometric residence permit will be the same across the Union and will resemble the current residence permits for third-country nationals. The document will state under which type of system it was released and that it was received under the Withdrawal Agreement.
“We are now waiting to see how EU countries will actually implement the systems by which U.K. citizens will secure their status under the Withdrawal Agreement and these documents, as, in most countries, there is still very little detail about those,” said Jane Golding, co-chair of the campaign group British in Europe.
EU citizens living in the UK will receive digital proof after logging in to an online platform, a decision that was not well received by EU citizens’ rights advocates, who said it was discriminatory.
Former UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes supports the idea of not providing physical proof of residence status for EU citizens, suggesting a digital system is a better option for data protection.
The UK is planning to rely heavily on biometrics in its post-Brexit border control system, according to recent reports.