UK given two weeks to make offer to ensure Brexit talks progress

Written by Martin Banks on 10 November 2017 in News
News

MEPs say that major issues still need to be addressed to secure equal and fair treatment for EU citizens in the UK after Brexit.

Brexit Photo credit: Press Association


The warning comes after the latest meeting of Parliament’s Brexit steering group, chaired by ALDE group leader Guy Verhofstadt.

It met earlier this week today and, afterwards, issued a statement which read, “We don’t recognise reports suggesting that a deal on citizens' rights is almost finalised. There are still major issues that have to be resolved.

“Our most important concern is the UK proposals for settled status for EU citizens in the UK, including the administrative procedures as set out in a technical note published by the UK government yesterday.”


RELATED CONTENT


The group members have now set out a list of criteria that they say must be met in the coming weeks.

The statement said it is their “firm view that acquiring settled status must be an automatic process in the form of a simple declaration, not an application which introduces any kind of conditionality (for example a pro-active ‘criminality check’); must enable families to make one joint declaration, not separate declarations for each individual family member; must place the burden of proof on the UK authorities to challenge the declaration and this only on a case-by-case basis and in line with EU law; must be cost-free; is a system that can only enter into force after any transition period, if requested and agreed, has concluded. Before that, the freedom of movement applies.”

On the issue of family reunification, the steering group insisted that Parliament “will not accept any weakening” of existing rights that EU citizens currently enjoy with respect to family reunification, including both direct descendants and relatives of direct dependence in ascending line.

On the export of benefits, the MEPs insist “that this cannot be limited to pensions only, but should include all benefits defined in EU legislation.”

The statement added, “We insist that UK citizens currently living in the European Union continue to benefit from the freedom of movement after Brexit.”

The warning comes amid signs that the Brexit talks are set for further trouble after Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, on Friday set Britain a two week deadline to make sufficient progress in the Brexit talks and kickstart discussions on a future UK-EU trade deal.

The EU is refusing to talk trade or a possible transition deal until it judges enough progress has been made on the contentious issues of the Brexit bill, Ireland and citizens' rights, the three red lines for the EU.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May in her Florence speech promised the EU €20bn to cover Britain’s EU budget contributions until the end of the current financial period in 2020. 

But that has not satisfied Barnier, who demanded Britain explain exactly what it is willing to pay as the price for Brexit and that it made “real and sincere” progress on all three issues.

For the European Parliament to approve the withdrawal agreement, it says certain “key principles” must be met. Any withdrawal agreement at the end of the UK-EU negotiations will need to win the approval of the European Parliament.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

Tags

Interested in this content?

Sign up to our free daily email bulletins.

 

Share this page

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Catalonia: Commission accused of unequal treatment
17 November 2017

The European Commission has been accused of unequal treatment in respect of Catalonia during a debate in Parliament on the rule of law in Malta.

Manfred Weber optimistic after meeting with Theresa May
16 November 2017

Parliament’s EPP group leader, Manfred Weber, has voiced renewed optimism about the eventual outcome of the ongoing Brexit talks after meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

EU leaders agree to deepen military cooperation with PESCO
15 November 2017

New plans for closer cooperation between member states on defence and security have met with a positive response.

Related Partner Content

Thought Leader: 'Radical reform' needed in Montenegro before EU accession: Pavel Priymakov
20 January 2014

Major problems over good governance and the rule of law obstruct Montenegro's EU membership path, writes Pavel Priymakov.

Sustainable Development can only succeed if we work together, says Huawei’s Tony Graziano
27 December 2016

Paris agreement and the UN’s sustainable development goals are a testimony to the difference we can make when we join forces across geographical, sectoral and policy dividing lines argues Huawei...