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Angela Merkel says United Kingdom offer on European Union citizens 'a good start'

Angela Merkel says United Kingdom offer on European Union citizens 'a good start'”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan labeled the government's stance "unacceptable". She made it clear that Britain wants reciprocal measures for the 1.5 million British citizens living in the EU. "By doing so she is treating British people living in Europe, the same", he said.

"The British public have rejected the Tory extreme hard Brexit".

Weakened by an election she did not need to call, May has watered down her government's program to try to get it through parliament and set a softer tone in her approach to Brexit.

It's not clear yet when the cutoff day for those five years will be. The EU wants citizens to be able to seek justice in the European Court, but May has been insistent British courts would do the job.

However it is thought any such arrangements between United Kingdom and European Union citizens may not affect Irish people in Britain, as this is covered by the Common Travel Area.

The coordinator for the Brexit negotiations in the legislature said that "unclarity about the cut-off date, family reunification and uncertainty about jurisdiction are not what we are looking for".

Newer arrivals would be allowed to stay until they had amassed the necessary five years to qualify for settled status too.

The cut-off date for entitlement to apply is yet to be set, but it will come somewhere between the day Britain activated Article 50 (29 March 2017) and the day Brexit takes effect (29 March 2019).

May's offer, which will be outlined in full on Monday, does not give the reassurances to European Union citizens that they would need to make long-term plans for their families, the mayor said. She said: "There are still many other questions linked to the exit, including on finances and the relationship with Ireland".

While there was a cautious welcome from Merkel, others were less forthcoming.

Of the respondents who voted Leave, 10% said that they would likely change their vote if there were a second referendum - while a further 12% said they were uncertain over which option they would back.

"We don't want to buy a pig in a poke", said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, calling May's opening "an extremely vague proposal for something which is incredibly complicated".

Many EU citizens in the United Kingdom, and Britons living overseas, are anxious about their status once Brexit happens.

"It is a first good step which we appreciate", said Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.

A £500 million tender has been sent out by the Home Office for firms to produce the new secure identification as we leave the EU.

Under the terms of the proposals, the "associate citizenship" would be available to citizens of former EU member nations who "feel and wish to be part of the European project", and could even be offered a vote in EU elections. Sterling will be stronger in the long-term if Brexit negotiations go smoothly or if the United Kingdom government's Brexit stance softens.

That is a demand which May is unwilling to accept.

Leaders had agreed with summit chair Donald Tusk not to open discussions with May and she left immediately afterwards, leaving the other 27 to discuss other Brexit issues without her.

"The UK's position represents a fair and serious offer, one aimed at giving as much certainty as possible to citizens who have settled in the UK, building careers and lives and contributing so much to our society", she said.

She made a clear commitment that "no European Union citizen now in the United Kingdom lawfully will be asked to leave the country at the point that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and all European Union citizens lawfully here at the point the United Kingdom leaves will have the opportunity to regularise their status to remain in the country".



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