Barnier confirms importance of guaranteed expat rights

Published:  29 Mar at 6 PM
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In a statement to the European Council, the EU’s head negotiator Michel Barnier has confirmed the need to immediately guarantee the rights of UK expats in Europe and EU expats in the UK. I

f believed, Barnier’s position on the rights of expats and several other Brexit issues could come as music to the ears of the millions of expatriates living and working in the UK and Europe, who’ve come to almost accept the deafening silence on the subject from UK lawmakers. Barnier also confirmed that negotiations were expected to take longer than the mandatory two-year period beginning today with the activation of Article 50, but added a temporary agreement will take place allowing negotiations to come to a satisfactory conclusion outside the time frame.

The chief negotiator’s statements come as a relief from former nationalistic posturings by various UK government lawmakers and EU spokespersons, all of which have sparked concern and panic amongst those likely to be most affected by the divorce. Barnier seems to be keen to make a deal suitable to both parties in the negotiations, and Dutch officials are currently citing a similar model to that enjoyed by Canada in its relations with the EU.

In his address, Barnier went as far as to criticise those in the UK who seem to be in favour of ‘no deal’, saying that depriving the UK of a deal would quite simply be playing into their hands. Reports suggest the European Council may have appreciated his constructive comments, as there’s been a dearth of these for some time.

With luck, the next few months will consist of maintaining a ‘keep calm and carry on’ mentality for both sides although fluctuations in sterling may cause concern, especially for expats living in EU member states on their UK state pensions. Although more stability and common sense during the negotiating period will be a welcome change, UK owned businesses overseas may suffer via the global markets.

Source: The Bulletin
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