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UK Prime Minister Theresa May's offer to European Union citizens 'falls short'

UK Prime Minister Theresa May's offer to European Union citizens 'falls short'”

Any EU citizen who has been living in the United Kingdom continuously for five years can get the status, while those who have been resident for less than that period will be also be allowed to stay and then apply for settled status once they have clocked up the necessary time.

A post-Brexit trade deal with the United States would not be enough to make up for leaving the European Union, British justice minister David Lidington said on Sunday, tempering Prime Minister Theresa May's enthusiasm about the USA offer. However, the British proposal, delivered three weeks later, suggests that Europeans' rights within the United Kingdom would be significantly reduced from the day after Brexit, including curtailing voting rights and income thresholds.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had first floated her ideas on protecting the rights of each other's citizens at an EU summit in late June and the other EU leaders were halfhearted at best about what she called a "generous" offer on protecting the rights of EU citizens. It was a damp squib.

May's deputy, Damian Green, told BBC radio the government would preserve the basic rights of EU citizens in Britain, but reiterated that those rights could not be guarded by the European Court of Justice - a sticking point for the two sides.

"The UK proposal only confirms this belief - falling short of its own ambitions to "put citizens first".

After Brexit, EU citizens with settled status will be able to bring family members from overseas on the same terms as British nationals.

The UK's offer "was a damp squib, proposing that Europeans obtain the status of "third-country nationals" in the UK, with fewer rights than British citizens are offered throughout the EU".

"The European Parliament will reserve its right to reject any agreement that treats EU citizens, regardless of their nationality, less favourably than they are at present", the letter warns.

The articles, which are jointly penned by Mr Verhofstadt and the leaders of key groupings in the European Parliament, also say that the United Kingdom offer risks creating "a second class of citizenship" and that the offer contradicts even "the "Vote Leave" manifesto", which, it says, "promised it would treat EU citizens no less favourably than at present". That is simply unthinkable. And why won't the United Kingdom government simply confirm that the cut-off date for all European citizens will not be sooner than the date of Brexit itself?

In early 2019, MEPs will have a final say on the Brexit deal.

'Certainly, one of the frustrations sometimes about being part of the European Union is that while the mass gives it some leverage in global trade, it moves sometimes at a tortoise-like pace because all the member states have to agree a negotiating position'.

The EU has a common mission to extend, enhance and expand rights, not to reduce them. "We will never endorse their retroactive removal", he said.

It also makes clear that there can be no extension to the 31 March 2019 deadline, as European parliamentary elections are due to take place in May of that year, by which point the United Kingdom must be out.

"We support the European Parliament's position that citizens rights are a red line".



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