Theresa May details post-Brexit plans for EU citizens in UK

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 28, 2017

May set out the principles of her plan to European leaders at a Brussels summit last week in what was intended as a goodwill gesture - only to see them rejected as insufficient and vague.

Proposals outlined to European Union leaders at Brussels summitThe UK's proposals were first outlined to other European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels last week but received only a lukewarm reception. He accused the government of using people as "bargaining chips" over Brexit negotiations.

It said those who had lived in Britain for five years by an as yet unspecified cut-off point could acquire "settled status", similar to permanent residency.

Anyone who arrives before a "cut-off" date will be given a chance to run up the five years and apply for the same "settled status".

But critics have accused ministers of trying to bring in "ID cards by the back door" after the government said it may collect biometric data from European Union citizens and store their details on a Home Office database.

Those who have lived here five years or more will be required to have papers to prove their "settled status". "The administrative procedures which they will need to comply with in order to obtain these new rights will be modernised and kept as smooth and simple as possible", the plan said.

It remains unclear what the UK's entry requirements will be once it leaves the EU.

European rules already allow member states to expel other EU citizens on security grounds, and between 4,000 and 5,000 EU prisoners were deported from Britain past year, according to the interior ministry.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, responded to Theresa May's offer to EU citizens living in the calling for "more ambition, clarity and guarantees".

EU President Donald Tusk said May's offers were below expectation and risked making the situation for EU citizens in the United Kingdom worse.

"We will continue to protect the export of other benefits and associated healthcare cover where the individual is in receipt of those benefits on the cut-off date", she added.

"The UK's stance is that the British courts should oversee the system rather than the European Court of Justice, but the EU27 are concerned that without ECJ oversight, future UK governments may try to water down those agreed rights". The European Court of Justice will not have jurisdiction in the UK.

These new rights will be applied equally to citizens from all member states, meaning no preferential treatment for any nationality over another. European Union nationals who have been working in the NHS or in the universities will have the paperwork (contracts of employment and the like) to show the length of their employment and in what capacity.

He said: "People called me over the weekend, saying "we understand we have no rights to vote in the General Election, that's fine because that's for British citizens".

But spouses moving after Brexit will be subject to the same rules that now apply to non-EU nationals joining British citizens, which require the British citizen to meet a minimum income allowance.

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