BREXIT ROW: Sajid Javid hits out at EU negotiators for FAILING to protect British expats

Posted on Jun 22 2018 - 7:09am by admin

The Cabinet minister said he was “concerned” that EU negotiators had not yet revealed plans to safeguard British expats’ rights.

Around 900,000 UK citizens currently live in the European Union, but their future hangs in the balance as Brexit talks continue to stall.

Mr Javid made the comments as the Home Office prepares to publish its own plan to register the 2.9 million EU citizens living in the UK.

He will put forward proposals for the EU nationals living in the UK to claim ‘settled status’ after Britain quits the bloc.

The Home Secretary said: “Publishing details of how we will administer our settled status scheme shows we are honouring the commitments made towards EU citizens living in the UK.

“But I am concerned that I have not seen any similar plans on how EU member states are going to support British nationals in their countries.

“This is not good enough and I hope both the European Parliament and Commission will exert more pressure for them to do this as soon as possible.”

Today’s Home Office publication is expected to spell out how the new ‘settled status’ scheme will operate and who will be eligible for it.

Earlier this week, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt met Mr Javid to discuss the issue of citizens’ rights.

Mr Verhofstadt attacked the UK after the meeting, saying he has “very serious concerns” over the Government’s plans to register EU migrants.

The Belgian MEP said: “Why should EU citizens be financially punished for the Brexit referendum outcome, when we don’t even know yet what the future EU-UK mobility agreement will look like?

“We need to know what the independent authority tasked with protecting the rights of EU27 citizens in the UK will look like and what powers it will have.

“The UK has agreed to set up a powerful new body to oversee the rights of EU citizens, though we are yet to see any definitive proposals.”

The most popular destinations for British expats living in the EU are Spain, France, Ireland and Germany.

But their future status on the continent has been thrown into doubt following the historic 2016 Brexit referendum.

A Home Office source said Mr Verhofstadt had acknowledged that EU countries had not done enough work on the issue of UK expats.

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