Barrister peer recommends EU nationals living in the UK assemble proof of living in the country

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EU nationals living in Britain should make a file of documents that prove they have lived in the country since before the June referendum, recommends Helena Kennedy QC, speaking to The Guardian.

Lady Kennedy, who chairs a House of Lords subcommittee that has just completed an investigation into the “acquired rights” of Europeans in the UK and Britons living in continental Europe, suggested that EU nationals living in the UK collect bills, rental or home ownership documents, employment paperwork, or evidence of appointments for those who do not have jobs.

The committee’s report concludes that international law may not provide much reassurance for EU citizens. “The evidence we received makes very clear that the doctrine of acquired rights under public international law will provide little, if any, effective protection for former EU rights once the UK withdraws from the EU,” it says.

Lady Kennedy said the rights that experts had warned the committee about included being able to travel, set up businesses, be in employment, qualify for benefits, access education and healthcare, and retain a pension. “Pensions are one of the great sources of anxiety because will you be able to transport it? There is a lot of talk about ‘passporting’ of the financial services at a grand level, but what about the passporting of people’s ordinary rights?” she said.

Her committee’s next job is to look at the impact of Brexit on other issues including the family courts, and how divorce proceedings and custody arrangements might be affected.

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