UK planning ‘generous’ EU citizens’ rights deal

Written by Martin Banks on 9 June 2017 in News

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly instructed British civil servants to begin preparing an opening negotiating offer on EU citizens’ rights.

A senior Whitehall source is quoted on Friday as saying, “We have been asked to prepare a big offer for the week following the election.

“There will be quibbles about the dates, after which new arrangements apply to arrivals from the EU, but fundamentally it’s pretty generous. Just how generous depends on who you are, but the intent is to offer something very generous.”

The unnamed source, reported in the UK media, said that, while the proposals were being “driven by the Home Secretary,” it would be necessary to secure “cabinet-level clearance” due to the implications for policy covered by other government departments, including benefits through the Department for Work and Pensions, as well as other areas under the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s office and the Cabinet Office.

The revelations come as the cross party group New Europeans steps up its ongoing campaign to guarantee the rights of the 1.3m UK citizens in the EU.

In the wake of the UK election on Thursday which resulted in a hung parliament and threw doubt on the chances of Brexit talks starting this month, the group has written to May, calling on her to quit as PM.

The letter, seen by this website, reads, “Since the result of the Brexit referendum was announced last June, you and your colleagues in government have left the lives of 3.4m EU citizens in the UK in limbo.

“The resulting distress and uncertainty that they have felt has interfered so much with the private and family lives of EU citizens as to represent a potential infringement of their rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Instead of securing the rights of EU citizens in the UK, you chose to call an early election. You were persuaded to do so by those in your cabinet who were determined to drive through Brexit at any cost. Men like David Davis and Liam Fox.”

It goes on, “In the heat of the campaign and in the aftermath of two terrorist attacks you announced that you would seek derogations from the Human Rights Act.  

“This was no doubt a precursor to removing the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights in the future - something that has been your long-standing ambition.”

The letter to May states, “To meet your net migration target, you have deliberately created a hostile environment for EU citizens, migrants and refugees from coming to the UK and to persuade those who are already here to leave.”

In a reference to the election result, which saw the Tories lose the majority it has previously enjoyed, it concludes, “Thankfully the British electorate has rejected your vision for Britain. You should now resign.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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