European Parliament deals fresh blow to Brexit deal on EU citizens rights
The European Parliament has rejected an offer from Theresa May to protect the rights of EU migrants living in the UK after Brexit.
A British technical paper was released yesterday setting out hopes for a ‘settled status’ system to operate for two-years once the UK quits the bloc.
But the cross-party Brexit steering group in the European Parliament said there remained “major issues” with the proposal.
The rejection of a key plank of the UK negotiating position is important as the European Parliament will have to ratify any Brexit deal Britain agrees with Brussels.
Theresa May recently insisted a deal on citizens rights after Brexit was within "touching distance".
Chief Brexit co-ordinator in the parliament Guy Verhofstadt blasted the Government over its “inadequate” plans.
"EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU were told that nothing would change because of Brexit,” he told the Independent.
“The fact that the UK Government needs 25 paragraphs to explain how they lives will change proves this was a fabrication.”
He added: "It's hard to believe this proposed new system will be smooth and efficient. The European Parliament remains deeply concerned about the lack of progress on citizens' rights issues.
“It is erroneous to say a deal is 'within touching distance'."
The Brexit steering group said the ‘settled status’ plan must be an “automatic process” with no barriers such as the criminal record checks the UK is currently demanding.
It comes shortly before Brexit Secretary David Davis travels to Brussels for the next round of negotiations.