WGPlus (Archive)

Hypocrisy of EU as it blames UK for its own ‘intransigence to negotiate’

Ever since the Brexit referendum EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals living in other EU countries face uncertainty about their ability to stay where they are. The British government has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU nationals.  Following reports of administrative barriers, MEPs are increasingly concerned that EU citizens’ right to stay in the UK are not being fully respected. They held a debate on the issue on 1 March and will also organise hearings to gather evidence.

On 1 March the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to guarantee the rights of EU citizens, yet since the Brexit referendum the UK government has so far refused to offer any formal reassurances to the 3.1m EU citizens living in the UK, insisting it could harm its effort to secure the rights of the 1.2m UK nationals estimated to be living in other EU countries.

Věra Jourová, the commissioner for justice, said: “As long as the UK remains a member state all rights and obligations continue to apply. I am fully aware that EU citizens living in the United Kingdom are concerned about their future rights. EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom deserve to know what their rights will be in the UK after the UK has left the European Union and the same applies for UK citizens residing in the other 27 member states.” – (Editorial comment:  So why has the EU so far refused to negotiate on the issue?)
EU News:  Brexit: Parliament looks into rights of Europeans living in the UK

Exiting the European Union: Ministerial statement 2 February 2017 - Secretary of State David Davis made a statement in the HoC on the publication of the White Paper setting out government's 12 negotiating objectives to build a Global Britain with a strong new partnership with the EU after our exit.  …..

Today we are publishing a government White Paper on the UK’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union.  ……  This White Paper sets out those aims and the thinking behind them.  ….  This is based on the 12 principles that will guide the government in fulfilling the democratic will of the people of the UK.  These are:   …….  • securing the rights for European Union citizens already living in the UK and the rights of UK nationals living in the European Union

PM statement on European Council: 6 February 2017Brexit:  Finally turning to Brexit, …. On the issue of acquired rights, the general view was that we should reach an agreement which applied equally to the other 27 member states and the UK, which is why we think a unilateral decision from the UK is not the right way forward.

But as I have said before, EU citizens living in the UK make a vital contribution to our economy and our society and without them we would be poorer and our public services weaker.  So we will make securing the reciprocal agreement that will guarantee their status a priority as soon as the negotiations begin, and I want to see this agreed as soon as possible because that is in everyone’s interests.

We have voted to leave the EU, but not Europe: article by Theresa May - At the same ….  I also want to guarantee the rights of all EU citizens, including what the French government estimate to be over 300,000 French people who are already living in Britain, and I hope France will do the same for the Brits who have made their lives there. At the recent Informal European Council, the general view was that we should reach an agreement which applied equally to all member states, so I will make securing this reciprocal agreement a priority as soon as the negotiations begin, because this is in everyone’s interests.

Researched Links:

EU Ombudsman urges appropriate Brexit transparency

EU News:  EC presents White Paper on the future of Europe: Avenues for unity for the EU at 27

EU News:  Future of the EU: MEPs discuss five scenarios set out by Jean-Claude Juncker

EU News:  UK must obey EU free movement laws until it leaves the EU, say MEPs

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