Riigikogu committee to submit bill protecting UK citizen rights in Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

How many pigeons will fly home to roost after Tueday's crucial House of Commons Brexit vote remains to be seen. However, a bill due before the Riigikogu aims to guarantee their rights at least in Estonia.
How many pigeons will fly home to roost after Tueday's crucial House of Commons Brexit vote remains to be seen. However, a bill due before the Riigikogu aims to guarantee their rights at least in Estonia. Source: AFP/Scanpix

The Riigikogu Constitutional Committee decided on Monday to submit a bill to the Riigikogu, regulating the conditions of UK citizens residing in Estonia following Brexit, with the vote on UK Prime Minister's Brexit deal being put to the UK parliament on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Constitutional Committee Marko Pomerants (Pro Patria) said with the fate of the Brexit deal likely to become clear on Tuesday, that: "If the United Kingdom decides to leave the European Union, the Riigikogu is ready to pass the Act that regulates the conditions for residing in Estonia for the British nationals and their families. This will be done both in the case of exit with a deal and in the case of no-deal Brexit. In the case of Britain deciding to remain in the EU after all, the Bill will not be passed. However, it is important to be ready for all scenarios so that those Britons living here could maintain certainty about their future," Mr Pomerants explained, according to a Riigikogu press release.

The scope of regulations of the Citizens of the European Union Act 2006 will be extended to UK citizens living in Estonia after the transition period in the withdrawal agreement, under the terms of the Riigikogu bill.

Transition period till 2021

Those UK citizens arriving after April 2021, ie. once the transition period is over, will fall within the scope of regulation of the Aliens Act 2013, it is reported.

The forthcoming Bill will reportedly further exclude UK citizens from the immigration quota established by the Aliens Act, in the same way citizens of the US, Japan and Switzerland are excluded from the quota.

Minister of the Interior Katri Raik, SDE (Estonian governmental ministers do not sit at the Riigikogu), and Head of Citzenship and Migration Department at the ministry Ruth Annus, and Adviser Harry Kattai from the same ministry department, also participated in the sitting of the Committee.

The Constitutional Committee opted to send the bill, officially entiteld the Bill on Amendments to the Citizen of the European Union Act and Other Acts (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union) (781 SE), initiated by the Government) to its first reading at the plenary sitting of the Riigikogu on 23 January.

A full set of Brexit FAQs and their answers as supplied by most of the government ministries and other state authorities is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte



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