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Theresa May prepares to bow to Brussels over EU migrant rights

Liz Bates

2 min read

Theresa May is reportedly preparing to bow to Brussels and allow EU migrants who arrive in the UK during the Brexit transition period permanent residency.

According to the The Times, the Prime Minister could reverse her stance just three weeks after saying EU citizens would be treated differently when Britain leaves the bloc in March next year.

Last month she sparked anger in Brussels, telling reporters: “I’m clear there is a difference between those who came prior to us leaving and those who will come when they know the UK is leaving.”  

But EU officials insisted that the continued rights of EU migrants to settle in the UK would not be up for negotiation if Britain sought to retain vital trading arrangements during the Brexit handover period.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said: "The positions of the European Union are very logical. If the UK wants to enjoy the advantages of the single market and customs union, it has to accept all the rules and obligations until the end of the transition.

"To be quite frank, if these disagreements persist the transition is not a given. As I said, time is very short and we haven’t a minute to lose if we want to succeed, and we do want to succeed in this orderly withdrawal."

Since the standoff it is understood that Mrs May could now soften her position in an effort to speed up negotiations and secure a Brexit deal.

It comes after a draft of the UK's negotiating guidelines revealed that ministers were preparing to extend the Brexit implementation period indefinitely.

The document states that while the Government was still aiming for a two-year transition period, it could leave the door open for talks to go on longer.

That puts it at odds with the EU, who have specified that the period should be over by the end of 2020, just 21 months after the UK officially leaves the bloc in March 2019.


The National Federation of Builders have responded saying they 'would welcome this change of direction​'. Read the full article here

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