Brexit will have a profound impact on the lives of children and young people for many years to come. We are working to ensure that the rights of children and young people are considered throughout the negotiation process and that the best interests of children are put first.

Together with notable children’s charities and experts, last year we put together a briefing paper Making Brexit work for children: The impact of Brexit on children and young people. Our key concerns include ensuring that children’s rights are routinely protected and promoted when EU law is transposed into domestic law, and ensuring that European National children in the UK are able to build their futures in this country.

Settlement for EU nationals in UK must take into account the rights of children

In 2016, over half a million European national children were living in the UK. Around 260,000 EU children and young people were born here. Non-EU children currently struggle to regularise their immigration status in a system which is complex, expensive and for which there is no free legal advice. Any new system for EU nationals must avoid an increase in children finding themselves undocumented as a result of practical barriers or policy decisions. We have called for a child-friendly settlement for European nationals currently residing in the UK that:

We welcome the publication of the settlement scheme Statement of Intent (SoI) and Immigration Rules (Appendix EU). The SoI goes beyond the Withdrawal Agreement to simplify the application process for many individuals. However, we believe that there are still significant obstacles that many children and families will need to overcome in order to gain status. In particular, children who are not EU nationals themselves, or who are in family units with non-EU nationals, risk being left with precarious status through the settlement scheme

The protection and promotion of children’s rights

Withdrawal from the EU is the most fundamental constitutional change to the UK for a generation. As the UK prepares to leave the rights framework of the European Union, it is for parliament to ensure that vital rights for children are protected and continue to be promoted. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill intends to bring existing EU legislation into UK law.  In doing so, we must ensure that the fundamental rights of children are not diluted as a result of this process. Read our briefings:

Recent briefings and consultation responses