Brand new public body to protect EU citizens’ rights after Brexit.
The rights of millions of citizens from European communities who continue to live and work in the UK and Gibraltar will now be protected by a new, independent Swansea-based organisation.
The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA), based at the Swansea Civic Centre will monitor UK public bodies to make sure they are upholding the rights of citizens. It will review complaints and has powers to launch inquiries and take legal action.
Staff will play an important role in ensuring the IMA carries out its two main duties; monitoring and promoting the effective application of citizens’ rights.
The IMA will work closely with governments and parliaments in the UK and Gibraltar, as well as with advocacy groups, charities and regulatory bodies to reach as many citizens as possible and inform them of its role. Citizens’ complaints and intelligence received from representatives will play a crucial role in shining a light on the issues that most affect people’s daily lives.
Interim Chief Executive of the IMA, Dr Kathryn Chamberlain said:
“The IMA recognises the role it has, both in upholding citizens’ rights and holding public organisations to account over their treatment of people from our European communities.
“Our location in Swansea is a vote of confidence in the skills and talent of the local workforce, ensuring that we are well-placed to provide support and scrutiny following our departure from the EU.”
Chair of the IMA, Sir Ashley Fox said:
“As the transition period draws to a close, the IMA stands ready to play its full part in protecting the rights of citizens who continue to make the UK and Gibraltar their homes after Brexit.
“It’s our role to support citizens in understanding their rights and to provide them with the assurance that these will be upheld as the UK embarks on its new course outside the EU.”
The IMA will become fully operational from Thursday, 31 December 2020 at 11pm. Citizens who come from the 27 EU Member States as well as the EEA EFTA countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will have broadly the same rights as before Brexit, if they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 and if they register with the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.
The Withdrawal Agreement includes rights such as residence, the right to work, recognition of professional qualifications and social security.