EU clamps down on MPs call for UK and EU expats rights

Published:  30 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Citizenship, Euro, England
A request from pro-Brexit UK members of parliament to prioritise a fast deal on the rights to remain for UK and EU expats has been rejected by the EU.

Just as media reports began suggesting May had finally faced up to the post-Brexit plight of UK expats in EU member states and EU expats in the UK, European Union authorities have clamped down on any pre-Article 50 negotiations. A letter signed by dozens of UK lawmakers slating the use of expats as bargaining chips received a sharp reply from EU Council president Donald Tusk.

Tusk’s reply was clear in that he considers righting the situation is the job of London, not Brussels, although he expressed his shared concern over the uncertainly felt by millions of expats. Earlier this month, Theresa May had requested talks between the EU and UK governments aimed at ending the anxiety, and last Friday’s letter signed by 80-plus British MP members of the European Reform Group emphasised the guaranteeing of reciprocal rights for all those affected by Brexit.

Tusk is one of a number of EU dignitaries opposed to any discussion involving negotiation on any aspect of Brexit until Article 50 is triggered. EU governments were not best pleased at May's original announcement regarding the timing of initiating Article 50, with some seeing the letter as a ruse to test the unity of EU member states in the light of the effects of Britain’s rejection of the EU.

Tusk’s reply was laced with irony, with one sentence in particular due to cause offence in that he ‘welcomed UK eurosceptics’ concern for expats’ but added he had assumed Brexit was the result of a rejection of free movement and its rights by those who’d voted Leave. The reply continued that ‘nice-sounding’ expressions need to be converted into comprehensive, precise solutions to the problem, thus giving citizens real and binding guarantees of security.
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