The draft withdrawal agreement published on 19th March 2018 translated into law the agreements between UK and EU negotiators reached in December 2017. Citizens’ rights both for EU nationals who have made their homes in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU27 were a significant element of this. While in the run up to the agreement, we had registered considerable uncertainty and disquiet among the UK citizens living in the EU27 taking part in the research, we wondered whether the agreement would offer any reassurance? With this in mind, we approached our Citizen Panellists and the people we’d interviewed in France and Spain to tell us, using a simple online poll, how reassured they felt by the announcement.
Those responding to our short survey predominantly responded that they did not feel reassured by the current agreement on citizens’ rights. Their responses communicated
- a lack of confidence that the United Kingdom would act in the interests of its overseas citizen population;
- considerable mistrust directed at the UK Government, particularly around whether the agreement would be honoured beyond the date of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union;
- a high degree misinformation and misunderstanding.