The draft law – called the Brexit-Aufenthalts-Überleitungsgesetz (Brexit Residence Transition Act) – guarantees that all British people and their family members will receive residence permits if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.
The UK’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that he wants to ensure the UK leaves the EU, whether a deal is in place, or not by October 31st this year,
In a no-deal scenario, British people living in Germany would assume the status of third country nationals.
As The Local has reported, Germany has previously given verbal reassurances that no British person will be forced to leave Germany as a result of Brexit.
However, the new law goes a step further to provide reassurances to British nationals who have set up their lives in the Bundesrepublik.
Axel Dittmann, head of the government’s Brexit Taskforce said in a tweet on Wednesday: “All British citizens and their family members who have been entitled to free movement in Germany will be eligible to a residence permit in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Today, the German Government has adopted a draft law to be submitted to the Bundestag.”
All British citizens and their family members who have been entitled to free movement in Germany will be eligible to a residence permit in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Today, the German Government has adopted a draft law to be submitted to the Bundestag https://t.co/iLnobF3ByX
— Axel Dittmann (@GermanyonBrexit) July 31, 2019
The move has been welcomed by citizens' rights group British in Germany(BiG), however they remained cautious about what the draft law contains as the details have not yet been revealed.
In a tweet BiG also highlighted that a no-deal Brexit would have “catastrophic consequences” such as pensioners losing access to free healthcare under the “S1” reciprocal healthcare rules.
Whilst the draft text hasn’t been published on the @AuswaertigesAmt website, this is welcome news.
Of course a no deal Brexit would also have other catastrophic consequences (e.g. some pensioners suddenly having to pay for healthcare) and this law doesn’t appear to address those https://t.co/j1noSiHz69
— British in Germany (@BritsinGermany) July 31, 2019
Germany’s Foreign Office said the draft law “ensures that all British citizens and their family members who are in Germany entitled to free movement within the country at the time of departure can obtain a residence permit”.
The Foreign Office added that the law also guarantee access to the German labour market.
The draft legislation still has to go through the Bundestag and would only come into force in the event of a no-deal.
The Local has been reporting how Brits have been applying for residence permits from their local Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) and the difficulties they face due to the different processes across Germany's 16 states.
Last month we also exclusively revealed that 8,000 Brits in Berlin still hadn't applied for a residency permit ahead of Brexit, even though the registering process opened up in the capital in January.
For details on what kind of residence permits are being given out to British people in Germany, check out our story here.
Earlier this week the British Embassy in Germany urged Britons to seriously prepare for the possibility of a no-deal.
The Embassy is planning a Facebook Q&A at 1pm on Tuesday, August 6th where anyone affected can put Brexit-related questions to their team.
For all The Local Germany's Brexit coverage CLICK HERE