As reported last week, Luxembourg's lawmakers are preparing for a no-deal Brexit as the UK's deadline looms. We've examined the draft bills affecting British citizens that are being processed by the Chamber of Deputies.
As MPs promised in a session last weekend, the British citizens residing in Luxembourg will be protected by adequate legislation. On Monday, the official website of the Chamber of Deputies published information pertaining to a number of draft bills currently being processed in case of a hard Brexit. The draft bills concern measures in the financial sector, the recognition of professional qualifications, and others.
Of course, if a withdrawal agreement approved by the European Union is passed in the Houses of Parliament in the UK, then the rights of British citizens in Luxembourg will depend on measures outlined in the agreement.
As the UK remains in limbo, we have gone through the various draft bills in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Draft bill 7412 - transition period for Britons in Luxembourg
Status: Approved by MPs forming the parliamentary commission on foreign affairs on Monday morning.
Draft bill 7412 details an amendment to the legislation of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of people and immigration. The withdrawal agreement, which has yet to be approved, detailed a transition phase up to 31 December 2020, in which British citizens would continue to hold European rights in terms of free movement and residence. After 1 January 2021, British citizens would be considered third country nationals and would require them to apply for residential permits during the transition period.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' expert specified that the above would only be valid in the case of an orderly Brexit. However, MPs in Luxembourg highlighted the issue of British citizens' rights in Luxembourg if a no-deal Brexit goes ahad.
The ministry's expert announced that the Luxembourgish government has decided to adopt a "generous approach" in that matter, as recommended by the European Commission. This approach will allow Britons residing in Luxembourg to continue to live and work in the Grand Duchy without a residential permit for a year. This will allow them to regulate their situations after they no longer have the rights of a EU citizen.
Several MPs requested a legal foundation for the government's decision and enquired about the situation of Luxembourgish citizens in the UK. The ministry's expert claimed that the British government should provide assurances about the rights of EU citizens residing in the UK.
Draft bill 7409 - automatic recognition of medical qualifications
Status: discussed by the parliamentary commission on higher education, vote due before end of March.
Draft bill 7409 was examined by the MPs forming the parliamentary commission on higher education. The bill will guarantee that students receiving medical degrees will have their qualifications automatically recognised, even after the UK's exit from the European Union.
Degrees that fall under the umbrella of the draft bill are medical degrees, specialist medical degrees, general medical degrees, nursing qualifications, dentistry degrees, specialist dentistry degrees, veterinary degrees, midwifery degrees, pharmacy degrees, and architectural degrees.
Any students who gain those qualifications in the UK and go on to seek employment in Luxembourg will have their qualifications recognised automatically following this legislation. The ministry's expert was unable to divulge whether the British government will reciprocate the measure.
Draft bill rapporteur André Bauler (DP) has confirmed that the vote in the commission and in the Chamber of Deputies will take place before the end of March with an expected entry into effect on 29 March 2019.
Draft bill 7406 - protecting the rights of British citizens as private employees of the state
Status: Presented to the parliamentary commission on the civil service.
On Wednesday 13 March, Minister of the Civil Service Marc Hansen presented draft bill 7406 to the MPs forming the parliamentary commission. The legislation protects the rights of British citizens currently employed as civil servants for the Luxembourgish state. These civil servants will become private employees of the state according to the legislation.
Draft bill 7406 primarily concerns 45 British citizens working in the Ministry of Education and are considered important employees within the ministry. MP Gusty Graas (DP) is the rapporteur for the draft bill.
Draft bill 7401 - avoiding instability in the financial sector
Status: Discussed by the parliamentary commission on finance on Friday 15 March.
The draft bill has been in the works since January, when Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna presented the broad lines of the legislation. The draft bill aims to protect the financial sector in Luxembourg following the UK's departure from the European Union.
It examines any potential consequences of a no-deal Brexit on Luxembourg's financial sector. More generally, the draft bill will also extend EU financial passports for British financial businesses currently active in the Grand Duchy. This will allow these actors to continue working normally, even if the deadline for Brexit passes without a withdrawal agreement in place.
The draft bill envisions a transitional period of 12 months for certain domains. Predominantly, the legislation concerns services in the financial sector, such as payment services, the fund industry, alternatives funds, and insurance.