EU 'will pay £230m bill' to process settled status applications after Brexit
Brussels will foot a multi-million pound bill to process residency applications for EU citizens in the UK after Brexit, it has been reported.
The plan has been put forward as a bid to claim the moral high ground and has been backed by European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, according to the Times.
Theresa May has promised EU citizens living in the UK they will be able to apply for “settled status” and retain the same rights once Britain quits the bloc in March next year.
The Government has said the application process - for indefinite right to live in the UK for migrants who have already been in the country five years and pass criminal checks - will cost £73 per person.
But the Guy Verhofstadt - the Brexit lead in the European Parliament - has tabled a plan for the EU to pay the estimated £230m bill.
“Juncker was open to the idea, which puts the EU on the side of citizens in Brexit and makes the British look petty for charging,” a source told the Times.
There are around 3.2 million EU citizens living in Britain, according to estimates by the Commission, but some may already have residency rights.
The question of how the expected two-year transition period will affect the rights of EU citizens after the Brexit date of March next year is yet to be decided and is likely to prove controversial.