EU and UK expat campaign groups furious over pathetic May offer

Published:  27 Jun 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!
Representatives of both the EU expat community in the UK and UK citizens living in Europe are angry about the ‘fair and serious’ rights offer made by Theresa May.

Rather than relieve tensions amongst expat communities in the UK and Europe, the Prime Minister’s much publicised offer regarding expat rights has been branded as pathetic, damaging for British expats in Europe and in no way as fair or far-reaching as the offer already made by the EU. May’s ‘fair and generous’ offer first saw the light of day last Friday, and was immediately slammed by the EU expat community due to its basis in existing UK immigration law rather than EU law.

Campaigners for the rights of British expats in the EU joined in, comparing May’s offering with the genuinely generous lifetime guarantee of existing rights for British expats in European member states made by the EU negotiators. The British negotiating team in Brussels failed to even mention the EU’s offer, but concentrated on the UK version’s only staying on the table if reciprocated by the EU.

Nicolas Hatton, founder of the 3Million campaign representing EU citizens in the UK, called May’s offer ‘pathetic’ and ‘neither fair nor serious’, as it made no reference to the detailed offer put forward by the EU. Bremain in Spain chairperson Sue Wilson identified not accepting the European Court of Justice's position as legal arbiter of all disputes including human rights breaches as one of the major concerns over the UK offer.

According to Wilson, May sees her offer as the first move which should be accepted with gratitude by all those concerned. In fact, she adds, the EU’s offer is far more straightforward and generous for both categories of expats. She also believes that, as May is no longer ‘in the driving seat’, she will be forced to compromise, saying every expat affected is sick and tired of being used simply as a bargaining chip.

British expats in France are afraid May’s mistaken opening move may make their situation even more perilous, as their positions in Europe could very well have been eroded. Expat Citizens’ Rights in EU spokesperson Dave Spokes told the media it’s not about negotiation to get the best price, it’s about real people and their real lives, asking whether May expects the EU to water down its offer to match hers.

Nicolas Hatton has revealed Brexit secretary David Davis is now refusing to meet with groups representing EU citizens in the UK. Taking into consideration his previous meetings with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Hatton considers Davis’s decision as a direct insult to the group and the people it represents.
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