The Czech government has approved a plan to guarantee the near-term rights of British citizens in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.
The Interior Ministry says the roughly 8,000 Britons currently living in the country would retain their rights in the immediate aftermath of Brexit even if Britain crashes out of the EU in March with no deal.
The ministry says Britons would retain the same rights as the citizens of EU countries for a transitional period until Dec 31, 2020. The bill still needs parliamentary approval.
Without the bill, some 5,000 out of 8000 British nationals on the Czech labour market would end up with a status of non-EU foreigners. They would not be able to continuously work in the Czech Republic or automatically join local healthcare and welfare systems.
“Failure to pass the bill would also threaten some 40,000 Czech citizens living in Britain,” said Deputy PM and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, adding that all measures proposed by the Czech cabinet are conditional on reciprocity on the part of Britain.
Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, but it’s unclear whether lawmakers will approve the divorce agreement Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated with the bloc. That has raised the prospect of a “no-deal” Brexit.