EU Proposes Post-Brexit Freedom of Movement for Young Britons

EU Proposes Post-Brexit Freedom of Movement for Young Britons

EU proposes post-Brexit mobility for UK youths aged 18-30 to work, study, and travel in Europe. Learn about the key requirements and potential impacts.

In a significant step towards reinstating some pre-Brexit privileges, the European Commission has proposed allowing British youths aged 18 to 30 to travel, work, or study in the EU for up to four years. 

This initiative aims to restore the much-valued freedom lost following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Background and Impact of Brexit on Youth Mobility

The UK’s departure from the EU marked the end of unrestricted mobility for its citizens across Europe. 

Following Brexit negotiations led by Boris Johnson’s government, UK nationals were classified as “third-country nationals,” akin to Venezuelans. 

Their stay in the EU was restricted to 90 days within a 180-day period without the right to work or study unless they met stringent visa requirements.

Proposal Details

The European Commission’s new proposal seeks to ease these restrictions, offering a structured framework for young Britons to engage in various activities such as studying, training, working, or travelling. The table below summarizes the key aspects of the proposal:

Valid Travel DocumentMandatory for travel
Comprehensive Sickness InsuranceRequired to ensure health coverage
Proof of Sufficient MeansNecessary to prove financial stability
DurationUp to four years with multiple activities possible

Reciprocity and Opportunities

This proposal is not one-sided; it allows young EU citizens to explore similar opportunities in the UK, fostering a reciprocal relationship.

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Maros Sefcovic, the executive vice president responsible for inter-institutional relations, emphasized the goal to “rebuild human bridges” between young Europeans on both sides of the Channel.

Challenges and Government Stance

Despite the straightforward nature of the requirements, applications may be denied if the applicant poses a risk to public safety or health.

Moreover, while the European Commission has recommended this initiative, it requires approval from the European Council and the UK government, which has shown fluctuating stances on such immigration policies.

Industry Reactions

The UK hospitality industry has faced severe staffing shortages post-Brexit and will likely benefit from eased mobility restrictions.

Luke Petherbridge, director of public affairs at Abta, stated, “We strongly welcome today’s announcement and urge the UK government to be ready to begin negotiations.”

What is Next?

As negotiations potentially move forward, all eyes will be on the UK government’s response, particularly given the current political climate, with immigration being a pivotal issue in upcoming elections.

The response from the Home Office is eagerly awaited.


In conclusion, this proposal represents a hopeful step towards mitigating some of the adverse effects of Brexit on young individuals in the UK and EU.

It promises to restore lost opportunities and enhance cultural and economic exchanges across Europe.

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