With Brexit looming, the 20 000 Norwegians living in the UK fear for their future. Now, the British and Norwegian governments have started negotiating to find a solution.

Norwegians in UK fear for their future after Brexit. Photo: Chris Lawton

For many of the 20 000 Norwegians expatriates living in the United Kingdom, the British referendum on leaving the European Union has caused great uncertainty about the future. Now, the British and Norwegian governments have finally revealed their plan for settling the status of both Norwegians living in the UK and British citizens living in Norway.

Keeping current rights?

The UK Ministry for Exiting the European Union has announced its intentions of granting similar rights to citizens of Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway as those from EU Members States.

An agreement similar to the deal struck between the UK and the EU in December, would allow Norwegians living in the UK before Brexit to keep most of their current rights. This includes the right to stay, equal access to social security, health care, education and employment, and reunification rights for relatives and future spouses or partners who do not live in the UK. This presupposes a soft Brexit.

It is still unclear whether this will apply to Norwegians moving to the UK after Brexit.

Intent to protect Norwegians in the UK

The issued statement from the UK and EEA EFTA countries on February 16 this year, affirmed a desire to protect Norwegian citizens living in the UK and vice versa.

“Officials from the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the United Kingdom met on 12 February 2018 to discuss the agreement reached by the United Kingdom and the European Union on citizens’ rights in December 2017. Positive discussions on these issues took place at the meeting and the parties affirmed their desire to secure the status and protect the rights of UK nationals living in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein and nationals of those countries living in the UK.”

It’s still not clear how this actually will pan out for Norwegians living in the UK. Norwegians Worldwide will keep you updated with the latest information when we know more.

The United Kingdom is scheduled to withdraw from the European Union on March 29, 2019.

Sources: UK Department for Exiting the European Union, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BBC