EU ‘dragging its feet' on citizens’ rights in a bid to wring more money from Britain - report
European leaders are dragging their feet on a deal which would protect EU and British citizens after Brexit in a bid to garner more concessions from the UK, according to reports.
Figures close to the deal claimed although both sides are very close to securing protections for the three million EU citizens living in the UK, the bloc are unwilling to finalise the details.
Europe’s plan, according to Whitehall sources, is to make it seem as if the rights of citizens are still in flux to increase pressure on the UK.
One source told The Times: “Clearly it is not in the interests of the EU side to accept that it is now only money that is the sticking block to progress.
“But in reality that is the situation. We could have wrapped up most of citizens’ rights by now but we are still waiting to hear their response to our proposals.
“It is hard to see this as anything else other than an attempt to increase the pressure on our position.”
Some European diplomats have also admitted the holdup on citizens’ rights is a means of deflecting from EU members being unable to agree on the issue of a divorce bill.
A diplomat close to the talks admitted a deal is “very close” on citizens’ rights but Germany and other member states want more money.
“This is really about getting the balance — citizen rights and Ireland are more or less there. The money is not.”
A different EU diplomat told The Times: “No one has real objections to onward movement and the ECJ question is very close to being resolved.”
Yesterday, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker called for Brexit negotiations between the UK and European Union to be "accelerated" if the two sides are to strike a deal.
The pair spoke out in a joint statement following a "constructive and friendly" working dinner in Brussels.