Brexit: Parliament passes laws on UK citizens' rights in Poland

Poland's parliament lower house (Sejm) passed a bill which determined the principles of residency in Poland for UK citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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The new law lays down the principles for residency in Poland of UK citizens and their family members. It was prepared by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration.

The law on UK citizens’ rights includes rules on unemployment benefit for UK citizens in Poland, and for Poles who have worked in the UK. The law was passed by 441 votes to 3 with no abstentions.

The law also defines the principles of workers protection claims should they be refused payment by a British company they are employed at. It also safeguards the rights of UK citizens and their family members to general health insurance during the period in which they are granted temporary or permanent residency, as well as the rules for recognising UK driving licences and the executions of court orders as ruled by a British court.

Deputy Interior Minister Renata Szczęch underscored during the bill's first reading that, "under the new regulations Britons living in Poland and their family members (...) will have 21 months (from the date of exit) to submit an application to confirm their residency status in Poland." She emphasised that the solutions proposed in the bill "are based on the principle of reciprocity” with the British Government concerning the rights of Poles in the UK.

She added that until December 30, 2020, travel to the UK would be possible on the basis of an ID card and that from January 1, 2021, a new migration system would be applied. She noted that Poles who travel to Britain between March 30, 2019, and December 31, 2020, for more than three months will have to apply for a three-year residency permit.