If you're angered by the PM's recent comments labelling EU citizens 'queue jumpers' - please write to your MP to remind them to stand firm against a repeat of the toxic rhetoric in the EU referendum. Use our statement and add your own cover email.



As part of our third Mass Lobby of Parliament, we formed a human chain from Parliament Square to Downing Street, and handed this letter to a representative of Theresa May. Later that day, Robin Walker, Undersecretary of State for DexEU, came to our committee room, of his own accord, to answer questions, so let's hope the content of the letter was taken on board!




Some of you would have heard of the Surinder Singh case. We are publishing our recommendation to the negotiators to add a provision in the draft Withdrawal Agreement to apply Surinder Singh rights to EU citizens in the UK returning to their country of origin with their non-EU spouses, and to British citizens in the EU returning to the UK with their EU spouses, to avoid a loss of family reunification rights after Brexit.




British in Europe and the3million have written an open letter to the UK and EU Brexit negotiators to call on them to end the extreme legal uncertainty for citizens on either side of the Brexit divide in case of a no-deal scenario.



British in Europe and the3million remain deeply concerned that citizens’ rights are still far from being truly ‘safeguarded’. More will need to be done in the final phase of the negotiations in order to protect citizens' rights under the draft Withdrawal Agreement (WA) published in March 2018. However, this will all be in vain in the event of a No Deal cliff-edge scenario, which would leave us without any legal status at all. Regrettably, there seems to be no contingency plan either in the EU or in the UK for this eventuality. 

the3million and British in Europe have repeatedly called for the final agreement on citizens’ rights to be ring-fenced from the rest of the WA so that it may come into force regardless of the outcome of the negotiations. Download the full paper sent to both UK and EU parties today, on the right. 

Deal or No deal WEB2.jpg





3 August 2018


The rhetoric of 'no deal' has heated up in recent weeks and the critical question for 3.6 EU citizens living in the UK is quite simple:


What will happen to us in the case of no deal? 


So, would all our rights disappear on 29 March 2019 at 11PM if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement? Will we be able to get on with our lives? How will it affect us?

Stijn Smismans (professor of EU Law at Cardiff University) tries to answer these emotional questions in an enlightening article.


In summary, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides a temporary cover so we will not be in a legal limbo on 30 March 2019, but it will be a matter of days, weeks or months before new legislation is adopted, which can have the effect to change dramatically our lives.


Please note this article does not constitute legal advice and you should seek professional help if you have questions relating to your personal situation.

Download our 2-page paper to read the article


The UK Government's 'Statement of Intent' is not fit for purpose and will endanger the lives of EU citizens in the UK.  


Following the publication of the "EU Settlement Scheme: Statement of Intent" (SOI) by the UK Home Office on 21 June 2018, we are pleased to share with you a detailed analysis of the document and of the accompanying draft Immigration Rules by the3million.

We have also updated our Questions to the Home Office document showing which questions have been addressed and which are still unclear or outstanding.


Whilst the3million welcome the publication of the SOI and the draft Rules, and acknowledge some positives (for example a waived or reduced fee in some circumstances, and a promise to contact applicants in order to remedy an application that is not valid or complete), we remain deeply concerned that citizens' rights have not been safeguarded.

  • Our analysis paper outlines our most pressing concerns regarding:

  • The legal uncertainty which both the SOI and the draft Rules, and thus our future status and rights, are still premised on despite all the political promises.

  • The transparency and fairness of the application process, which is still likely to penalise thousands of EU citizens among the hardest to reach and those in the most precarious and vulnerable circumstances.

  • The overall inclusiveness of the proposed Settlement Scheme, given the unprecedented scale and nature of the challenge ahead and of the very serious consequences for people if, for any reason, they will not be granted a new immigration status under the scheme.


As you will see from our 150 questions document, which has been colour coded for ease of reference, most of the questions we have posed to the Home Office regarding the Settlement Scheme still remain unanswered. This is very concerning and does not bode well for the successful implementation of the scheme. In essence, we are still not reassured that our future status and rights will indeed be as ‘settled’ or permanent as was promised; that all who are eligible for the new status will be able to obtain it through an “easy three-step” application process before the end of the ‘grace’ period on 30 June 2021; and that many will not be discriminated against and fall into the UK ‘hostile environment’ either before or after obtaining settled status. We hope that our concerns and questions will be taken into consideration and will help to inform the debate going forward.


We are proposing a protocol to resolve the question of guarantees of EU citizens' rights

Our advocacy campaign seeks clarity and guarantee. We might get clarity when the Government answers our 150 questions about settled status but the Withdrawal Agreement cannot give us legal guarantees about settled status due to the nature of European law so we are seeking guarantee through an complementary protocol.

You can download our proposed protocol here

You can download our supporting paper on why direct effect is not enough here


Parliamentary briefing for the Brexit Select Committee

As the Brexit negotiations are progressing to its ultimate outcome, the Brexit Select Committee asked the3million to present new evidence regarding citizens' rights.

You can download our 5-page briefing here.

During the hearing, we talked about the following issues:

  • Draft Withdrawal Agreement (WA) - What is included; what it isn't 

  • Lifelong right to return (or rather lack of)

  • Ring-fencing citizens' rights deal to mitigate risk of 3 million EU citizens becoming 'illegal immigrants' on 29 March 2019

  • How will the Withdrawal Agreement be implemented in UK law (so EU citizens have guarantee they can get on their their lives)?

  • How much certainty is there for EU citizens? (not many at the moment)

  • How will settled status be implemented? 

  • How the Government is planning to engage with 3.6 million EU citizens?

  • Has there been any progress about the 150 questions the3million submitted to immigration minister @carolinenokes in April? So far, none

  • What's the difference between a declaratory or a constitutive settled status scheme? The answer is the #HostileEnvironment

  • What about vulnerable EU citizens at risk? Who are they? How do we talk to them and gain their trust?

  • How do we rate the Government’s proposed support (home visits, library appointments, phone calls)? 

  • The issue with the immigration data exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018. How can we trust the system if the Home Office can cover up its errors? (reminder: current error rate is 10%)

  • What about the hostile environment? How can we prevent EU citizens being targeted?

  • What about the ‘independent authority’ to provide oversight over the Home Office and the 3.6 million applications? Here, the words 'Independent' and 'Authority' matter, meaning it cannot sit within the British State


Analysis papers by the3million on the Withdrawal Agreement

the3million are concerned that a focus on the material scope of our rights is at the cost of proper consideration of the required enforcement mechanisms.  We need proper enforcement tools once we will no longer be able to rely on the procedures offered by the EU judicial system.  Unfortunately, the WA has particular shortcomings in this regard. Read our papers below.

Download the 10 page analysis paper:

Download the 5 page analysis paper:


Today the3million and the Open Rights Group are launching legal action against the British Government to remove a specific clause in the new Data Protection Bill, needed for ‘effective immigration control’ according to the government.

We are sad to have to take this step today to safeguard our rights but we feel compelled to do so in order to get more openness, transparency and better access to justice.


To keep this clause would mean that at least three million people across the country would be unable to find out what personal data the Home Office or other related organisations hold on them.    


Lawyers from Leigh Day, who are acting on our behalf, have written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd outlining their concerns and asking for the clause to be removed from the bill. 


If it remains, it would be the first time that an immigration exemption has been included in UK data protection laws.    


the3million and Open Rights Group argue the exemption clause is incompatible with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation, which the bill is designed to implement.  


The bill, which is intended to strengthen people’s data rights, will have the opposite effect and will create a two-tier system where immigrants will have less access to their personal data than UK citizens.    


The bill is due to be heard in the House of Commons today.


Please join your voice to the debate and write to your MP at


We need safeguards in place to ensure that all of us have access to the information held about us, so we are able to appeal Home Office decisions or correct mistakes.    


Everyone should be entitled to know how the Home Office and other government agencies are using their records, and that is why we want this exemption removed.


Considerations for securing citizens' rights in Phase 2 of the negotiations by the3million and British in Europe
Read a detailed analysis including reflections on the status quo on citizens' rights at the end of Phase 1 and urgent considerations for Phase 2 of the negotiations. 


Download 2 page summary:


The potential impact of settled status on EU citizens

This detailed paper on how EU citizens could be affected by the

settled status proposal, and why the3million are so concerned by the role

the Home Office will play in this proposal.



Together with British in Europe, we have written to the heads

of state of the EU27 countries to brief them on the negotiations

from the perspective of citizens.

In the letter, we explain that sufficient progress has not yet been made 

regarding citizens' rights.


 09/11/2017 Our Alternative Proposal to 'settled status' 

Settled status proposed by the UK is not fit for purpose.  the3million has proposed a viable alternative.

Fundamentally, the UK proposes to deprive EU citizens of current rights and is trying to impose 'settled status' instead, which is inferior to Permanent Residence in terms of loss of status, family reunion rights, risk of deportation and many other issues. the3million has put forward an Alternative Proposal to settled status, which ensures EU citizens keep all their current rights, and which can be implemented via a simple registration procedure (based on residence and ID proof to be provided at local government level). This respects the declaratory nature of registration under EU law.


Full proposal:


1-page summary:

Text-only version of summary:


 November 2017 

Submission for the Migration Advisory Committee Enquiry into Freedom of Movement

This research document represents the3million’s submission to the Migration Advisory Committee’s enquiry on migration and freedom of movement.



Overview of Phase 1 of the Negotiations 

British in Europe and the3million published an overview of phase 1 of the negotiations on citizens’ rights, which sets out an analysis of what we see as the major stumbling blocks to reaching an agreement on citizens’ rights, together with a potential road map to overcome the impasse.



Joint response to round 4 of the Brexit negotiations by the3million and British in Europe
Read our joint response to understand the challenges EU citizens in the UK and British Citizens in the EU will face if both parties do not improve their proposal.

Joint response:

Q&A on settled status:

The story of Pierre and Sophia under settled status:

Professional qualifications - the3million:

Professional qualifications - British in Europe:


Lobbying in Brussels prior to round 4 of the Brexit negotiations

the3million and British Europe created a short 2-page handout which was given to many MEPs and Permanent Representatives in Brussels prior to round 4 of the Brexit negotiations.



The second Mass Lobby event at UK Parliament

A short-handout, given to many MPs at the second Mass Lobby organised by the3million and British Europe, together with Unison.



Joint response to round 3 of the Brexit negotiations by the3million and British in Europe

Analysis of all existing concerns, together with increased frustration at the complexity of the proposed citizens' rights solution, lack of clarity on many issues, and the narrow legalistic approach of the EU regarding free movements rights for British in Europe. 



100 Erroneous Deportation Letters

In August, the Home Office sent deportation letters to over 100 EU Citizens legally living in the UK. the3million and British in Europe sent a joint letter to all EU institutions, asking the Commission to take note and focus closely on this issue in the subsequent rounds of the negotiation.



Joint response to round 2 of the Brexit negotiations by the3million and British in Europe

Concerns have arised over 'landlocked' British in Europe, continuing use of UK Immigration law concepts for EU citizens in the UK, loss of rights after 2 years absence, and the EU refusal to grant voting rights to British in Europe.  As well as writing a joint reponse, British in Europe produced a separate addendum on onward free movement rights.

Joint response:

British in Europe addendum:


the3million research into the Experiences of applying for Permanent Residence

In the year that followed the vote to leave the United Kingdom, an estimated 150,000 EU citizens the ‘permanent residence certificate’.  This research aimed to explore the process of applying for the documentation certifying the right to permanent residence. 



Joint response to the UK Proposal for Citizens' Rights

On the 26th June, the UK published its own offer on Citizens' Rights - ignoring the EU offer already on the table, and largely ignoring British in Europe. the3million and British in Europe created a joint analysis of this offer.



Joint response to the EU's opening offer on Citizens' Rights

On the 22nd May, the EU published their Negotiating Directives. the3million and British in Europe jointly wrote a response to this, briefly taking account of the UK offer which had been published just before the joint response was issued.




Stijn Smismans, an EU Law academic wrote a paper on the legal options for ring-fencing the rights of EU Citizens in the UK and British Citizens in the EU.  This to ensure our rights as soon as possible, regardless of the eventual outcome of the negotiations.

You can read the long version on Eutopia Law, or a shorter version on The Conversation.

 March 2017 

Alternative White Papers

Following the UK Government's Article 50 White Paper, both the3million and British In Europe published their own Alternative White Papers.


British in Europe:

© the3million 2020    Contact Us     About Us     We respect your privacy. Read our policy here