Given the ever increasing risk of a no deal Brexit, it is essential that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British in Europe are internationally protected via a citizens' rights treaty. The best way to do this is by adopting such a treaty under article 50 prior to Brexit. The UK and EU should 'ring-fence' the citizens' rights protection provided in the draft Withdrawal Agreement by ensuring these provisions will come into force as a citizens' rights treaty if agreement on other issues of withdrawal fails. This paper explains why this is necessary and why the UK and the EU have so far failed to do it. It shows how unilateral national solutions (by the UK and the 27 EU Member States) do not provide sufficient protection, and sets out the legal and political strategy through which a citizens’ rights agreement under Article 50 may still be adopted.
Stijn Smismans (16th June 2017), ‘Brexit: A separate citizens’ rights agreement under Article 50 TEU’, Eutopialaw. Available here:
The Withdrawal Agreement allows the UK to apply EU law criteria for residence as part of a constitutive registration system; this creates an element of retrospectively imposing criteria which were not systematically applied in the UK previously which can create huge problems as people will have failed to keep evidence. Luckily the UK Government has promised not to apply some of these criteria, but that promise can easily be revised. This paper proposes for the UK to commit internationally to its promises by way of a Protocol attached to the Withdrawal Agreement.
Stijn Smismans (2018), ‘EU citizens’ rights post-Brexit: why direct effect beyond the EU is not enough’, European Constitutional Law Review, 14 (3), 443-474. Available here:
One of the key challenges of the Withdrawal Agreement is to ensure its implementation in the UK as the country will no longer be part of the full judicial system of the EU. This paper proposes to strengthening to monitoring of implementation via the creation of a joint UK-EU independent monitoring authority.
Brexit scenario's and initial strategy
Stijn Smismans (12 October 2018), 'Six Brexit Scenario’s for Citizens’ Rights’, UK in a Changing Europe.