The UK and EU 27 have failed to protect the rights of 4.5 mn British people living in Europe and EU nationals living in the UK according to leading citizens’ rights campaign group British in Europe.
Reacting to the news that the UK and Commission have agreed ‘sufficient progress’ on the Brexit divorce issues: Jane Golding, Chair of British in Europe said:
‘This deal is even worse than we expected. After 18 months of wrangling the UK and EU have sold 4.5 mn people down the river in a grubby bargain that will have a severe impact on ordinary people’s ability to live their lives as we do now.
This is a double disaster for British people living in Europe. At the moment, not only is it unclear whether we keep our automatic residency rights, but it looks like we can also kiss goodbye to continuing free movement beyond any agreed transition period – which so many of us who work across Europe rely on to support our families’.
The UK wasted a precious opportunity to take up the EU’s comprehensive offer on citizens’ rights back in June. Instead, they decided to link the status of EU nationals in the UK to immigration, which resulted in the subsequent horse trading and significantly worse status that we all may face now.
Looking ahead to Phase Two of the talks – if it takes 18 months to produce something this bad then imagine what’s going to happen once citizens’ rights get buried under all the trade arguments about airline slots and fish carcasses.
We urge the European Parliament not to endorse this deal when they vote on it next week in Strasbourg.’
Photo: © European Union , 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte