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Rights of EU Senegambians in the UK guaranteed

Mar 10, 2020, 3:04 PM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye,The Point’s Europe Correspondent

As several Senegambians from across the European Union (EU) found themselves in the middle of controversy regarding their status in the UK following the county’s departure from the EU, the Point can confirm that so far their rights are legally ‘‘protected and guaranteed’‘.

Even though the UK-EU so-called Withdrawal Agreement came into effect since 31 January and effectively implemented in Britain through the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, EU citizens and their family members are ‘‘protected throughout the transitional period’’.

During the past decade, hundreds of Senegambians across the EU settled in the UK for various reasons. But following Britain’s departure from the EU many had found themselves in ambiguity, uncertainty and sometime with a sense of insecurity.

However a document from the EU Internal Market Adviser sent to this correspondent via the Law Society of England and Wales confirmed the legal rights of such individuals including: ‘‘Residency rights, labor rights, social security entitlements and tax treatment’’.

According to Title II of the document ‘‘residency rights (Art 13) and the right to travel into and out of the UK without visa (Art 14) is secured for EU citizens and their family members throughout the transitional period’’.

Employment rights are also ‘‘secured until the end of the transitional period (Art 22), along with non-discrimination on grounds of nationality (Art 23)’’.

The Withdrawal Agreement also states that, during the transitional period, ‘‘EU workers in the UK have the same labour rights, social security entitlements and tax treatment as UK nationals (Art 24)’’.

Additionally, all EU professional qualifications are recognized in the UK during the transitional period as clearly states in (Art 27)..

During this said period, an EU passport is sufficient proof that individuals are entitled to these provisions.

This correspondent also uncovered that EU citizens and family members who have been resident in the UK for more than five years ought to be entitled to remain in the UK permanently (Art 15).

However this is subject to UK requirements on process and registration (Art 18).

The UK government has already established the so called settled Status Scheme as the process for ensuring that these rights are also recognized.

Eligible candidates are urged to apply accordingly.