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Brexit, for a clear view

To find out everything (or almost everything) about the Brexit and its consequences for the staff of the institutions and for the EU, we invite you to consult our summary below. It covers all the essential points and contains useful links if you would like more information.

You will also find the special issue of our journal GRASPE on the Brexit.

The following articles are extracts from our reflections during this period.

Education : BREXIT without a Withdrawal Agreement

The UK Department for Education informed the Secretary-General about its planning in case of a BREXIT without a Withdrawal Agreement.

In this letter, the UK Department for Education provides, for the first time, its definitive position in case of a ‘no deal scenario’.

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18th February 2019

Communication on UK seconded teachers

The UK Government has sent ‘Notification of risk of compulsory redundancy’ letters to all remaining UK seconded staff in the European Schools. The letters warn that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, their secondments could end on 29 March 2019, over a year earlier than expected even in the case of a no-deal outcome of the TEU50 negotiations.

InterParents is united in the view that peremptory withdrawal of these teachers mid-year would be completely unacceptable, particularly considering its potential harmful impact on students in the middle of the school year.

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February 2019

The European administration and civil service after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union


From 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom will no longer be a member of the EU. The consequences of this change for the EU administration and civil service are not yet fully visible, although the Withdrawal Agreement settles the most thorny issues. Clearly, it cannot settle everything, especially individual situations. It will therefore be time, in a few years’ time, to take stock of the practice of the Commission and the European institutions.

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Withdrawal of a Member State from the European Union

Article 50 TEU explained

Any Member State may decide, in accordance with its constitutional rules, to withdraw from the Union. The decision must be legally taken in accordance with the law of the country wishing to withdraw. This may include parliamentary approval. The text does not specify what would happen if these rules were not respected and who would be the competent judge.

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BREXIT – European Schools : Third Report of the BREXIT Working Group

The ‘Third Report of the BREXIT Working Group’ provides an update concerning the state of play of the Article 50 BREXIT negotiations and – based on the findings of the ‘Second Report of the BREXIT Working Group’ – a comprehensive overview of the legal and practical consequences of the possible scenarios:

  • BREXIT accompanied by a Withdrawal Agreement,
  • BREXIT without a ‘deal’.

Moreover, it focuses on the legal status of the staff of the European Schools with UK nationality.

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Meeting on 4 to 7 December 2018

European schools: what happens in case of Brexit?

Many alarmist rumours are doing the rounds on what might happen in case of Brexit as regards the school education of children of British officials. Let’s take a look.  The European Schools are an intergovernmental institution separate from the EU. If the United Kingdom left the EU this would not necessarily mean withdrawal from the European School system. Politically it is feared that the British government would also pull out of the ES since, in the negotiations on the current financial framework, it demanded the closure of these schools. So, in the event of Brexit (UK leaving the EU), two scenarios.

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BREXIT – European Schools : Second Report of the BREXIT Working Group  

This second report provides an update concerning the ongoing Article 50 TEU negotiations which have entered the second phase and addresses questions linked to the possibilities and the legal framework for a potential agreement with the UK Government as requested by the Board of Governors in December 2017.

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 Meeting on 17, 18 and 19 April 2018

Information Meeting for UK Staff with Commissioners Gunther H Oettinger and Julian King

Commissioner King opened the meeting. He recalled last December’s results on phase 1 of the Article 50 negotiations, the agreement expected today on the negotiating directives for the transitional period, and informed staff that he had written to Commissioner Oettinger last December on outstanding issues of concern to UK staff.

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 29 January 2018

BREXIT – European Schools : First Report of the BREXIT Working Group

On 29 March 2017, the Government of the United Kingdom notified the European Council of the intention of the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Union.

This notification will have direct and indirect impact on the European Schools.

By invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, a two-year negotiation period has started.

In order to follow-up this negotiation process and to analyze the possible scenarios for the intergovernmental system of the European Schools the Board of Governors decided in April 2017 to set up a Working Group to deal with all potential consequences of the ‘BREXIT’ and a potential denunciation of the Convention Defining the Status of the European Schools.

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Meeting on 5 – 7 December 2017

The impact of the Brexit on the legal status of the EU officials and other servants of British nationality

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, focuses on the legal status of EU active and retired officials and other servants of British nationality in the context of the UK leaving the EU under Article 50 TEU. It examines the legal position of EU officials and other servants of British nationality with their rights and possible remedies. It further explores avenues towards solutions for open legal questions.

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November 2017

UK withdrawal from the European Union

Legal and procedural issues

This paper considers some of the legal and procedural issues surrounding the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union. It looks in particular at the formal exit process under Article 50 TEU and the EU institutions’ preparations for negotiations. It also sets out some possible templates for future EU-UK relations, as well as the details of existing frameworks for cooperation between the EU and third countries.

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March 2017

Brexit and British pensioners living in Belgium

The result of the UK referendum of 23 June 2016 has created concerns among many pensioners of British nationality residing in Belgium. Before addressing the nature of these concerns in more detail, two observations should be made:

  • legally, the UK’s exit from the EU will only take place at the end of the negotiations provided for (in principle in two years’ time) by Article 50 of the EU Treaty. The start of this period depends on when the UK requests the application of this Article.
  • The rights and obligations of pensioners under the Staff Regulations of Officials and Other Servants of the European Communities do not depend on their nationality, but simply on the fact that they were officials or other servants of the EU. However, the country of residence may play a role.

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 U4U ConferenceBrexit : What will happen now ?

U4U position

  • Supporting our British colleagues, defending their rights in full solidarity !
  • A ‘social dialogue’ phase will start during the ‘art. 50 process’, but probably not at its beginning

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The language regime issue

What are the issues surrounding the language regime of the European civil service and, in particular, its post-Brexit status?

Read more in French only

The solution to Brexit is European solidarity and not national egoism !

U4U fully supports our British colleagues

Brexit also opened an era of uncertainties for our British colleagues in the institutions and, as a consequence, for all staff who may fear that the departure of the UK from the EU, while leaving behind around 2000 British staff (200 at the EP), could strongly affect the administrative budgets under Heading 5 of the general budget. U4U follows both the European Parliament and the European Commission’ statements that British staff forms part of the EU staff and will remain so. U4U believes that the solution to Brexit for our British colleagues must be European and preserve their dignity.

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U4U Conference – Is our pension scheme in danger?

Slides only in French

September 2016

Brexit: is my job at risk?

British EU officials are wondering: what will happen in case of a victory of the Out camp in the referendum of June 2016 ? U4U shares the concerns of our British colleagues. As a principle, we consider that our British colleagues are primarily European citizens, who should continue to be part of our work community.

This paper tries to synthetize as clearly as possible what we can say today on this subject.

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