Barnier states no final Brexit deal means expat loss of rights for millions

Published:  5 Apr at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Should the UK not agree on a final Brexit deal, millions of UK and EU citizens will be left without rights.

According to a statement by EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, up to five million EU and UK expats would lose all entitlements to EU rights should the UK refuse to agree to a final Brexit deal. A deal, he said, needs to be reached within 16 months, giving the European parliament time to debate and agree its contents.

Barnier’s bad news came during a meeting between the chief negotiator and the British in Europe campaign coalition, with Barnier also stating his commitment to securing a reciprocal deal involving Britishers in the EU and EU expats in the UK at the earliest date possible. As a result of the meeting, representatives of the campaign group are calling on the UK to secure expats’ rights by a ringfenced agreement, thus removing the possibility of disaster regardless of the fate of an overall Brexit deal.

Campaigner, spokesperson and Guardian journalist Giles Tremlett told the Olive Press Barnier’s statement meant the continuation of uncertainty and limbo across both groups of expats. Should the EU and the UK be unable to agree and negotiations end, millions of people will become unauthorised foreigners in their countries of residence. Tremlett added that his hopes for an acheivable agreement on citizens’ rights are now dashed.

One positive result from the meeting was that regular roundtable discussions between Barnier and the campaign group are now on the cards, hopefully ensuring that any progress or lack of it will at least be in the public domain. In addition, after months of being pressed by British in Europe for a meeting, members of the government’s Department for Exiting the EU have finally agreed to speak with the campaign group next week. Tremlett believes the group’s meeting with Barnier was the trigger which reversed David Davis’s determination to refuse any contact or discussion.

Later this week, Tremlett will deliver a letter to Spanish lawmakers calling for a meet with UK-based campaign group Espanoles en El Reino Unido as well as with expats presently living in Spain. He believes standing together rather than acting alone is the only way to resolve the issue, saying ‘whatever happens to Spanish citizens in the UK will also happen to UK citizens in Spain.

Source: Olive Press
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive