Based on a government bill that was approved by the Deputies in one reading, Brits will be treated as EU citizens at least until the end of 2020. However, it will come into force only in the case of a so-called hard Brexit, the no-deal option.
Without the bill, hard Brexit would put Brits living in the Czech Republic in the same position as non-EU citizens. According to the Interior Ministry, around 5,000 Brits working in the Czech Republic would be affected the most. In total, there are around 8,000 Brits legally residing in the country.
The Deputies also debated whether the UK promised reciprocity, so that Czech citizens in the UK will be treated the same way. The British side indicates it is going to treat Czechs in the UK in a reciprocal manner, said Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek, adding that it is not in the British interest to let so many people move away from the country by the day in the case of a hard Brexit.
Interion Minster Jan Hamacek noted that the Czech Republic relies on a British document from last December, which outlines a future migration system and operates with an interim period for EU citizens by the end of 2020. However, the Lower chamber called on the Government to initiate talks about the reciprocity with the UK.