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EC Reveals Wrongful Detentions of British Residents in EU During Schengen Area Transits


Citizens of the United Kingdom who have remained legal residents in the European Union countries following Brexit have encountered problems when transiting Schengen states on their way to where they reside, the EU Commission said.

According to the EU Commission, UK nationals who have retained their rights as legal residents of one of the EU member states are being wrongfully detained when transiting through the Schengen Area.

For this reason, the Commission decided to raise the issue in an official document, saying that UK nationals can use all means of evidence at the border to prove their residence status.

As the document explains, UK citizens who are legal residents of a Schengen state and are visiting another member state are being detained by the police because they do not have a valid residence document to prove that they are legal residents as Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries.

Therefore, the Commission said that beneficiaries of the agreements could use their residence documents issued under the agreement or any other document to prove their residence status when crossing the border.

“In a nutshell, beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement can use their residence documents issued under the Withdrawal Agreement as well as other means of evidence at the border to prove their residence status and connected rights,” the statement of the Commission reads.

According to Statewatch, this note refers to two cases which have been brought to the attention of the UK-EU Specialised Committee on the Rights of Citizens.

In the first case, Statewatch explains that the individual possessed valid paperwork, but the state that issued it did not ask the Commission to include the documents in the Schengen Handbook for Border Guards.

This handbook is used as a reference regarding the forms of documents that are valid for different purposes.

A similar problem was encountered in the second case, and to deal with such situations, the Commission offered a variety of possible solutions. Many of them revolved around Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries ensuring that they have the right paperwork.

Nonetheless, the note also suggests that the member states use other provisions under national law to tackle comparable situations.

Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that a record number of Brits regret Brexit. According to a survey, 55 per cent of the participants said that they would vote to remain in the EU. On the other hand, 31 per cent said that they would vote to stay out.

Moreover, the survey showed that the interest to remain in the EU has increased by 6 percentage points in 2023 compared to 2021.

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