London – Breaking News
Theresa May gives updates about EU citizens’ rights, her priority in Brexit negotiations. She appeals direct to the three million EU nationals living in the UK: I want you and your families to stay.
Prime Minister Theresa May will today promise to make it as easy as possible for EU citizens to obtain settled status in the UK. She will do it via an open letter to EU citizens living in Britain, through which the PM will say the Government and Brussels are in ‘touching distance’ of reaching an agreement on citizens’ rights.
And she will promise that the process for the EU nationals to register to stay in the UK will be ‘streamlined’ – with EU citizens having a direct say over how it will work.
They will be invited to sit on a new User Group that will ‘meet regularly, ensuring the process is transparent and responds properly to users’ needs.’
Before having a deeper look at the new project that involve europeans to obtain their settled status after Brexit, let’s discover what The PM says ahead of the October European Council:
‘As I travel to Brussels today, I know that many people will be looking to us – the leaders of the 28 nations in the European Union – to demonstrate we are putting people first.
‘I have been clear throughout this process that citizens’ rights are my first priority. And I know my fellow leaders have the same objective: to safeguard the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU.
‘I want to give reassurance that this issue remains a priority, that we are united on the key principles, and that the focus over the weeks to come will be delivering an agreement that works for people here in the UK, and people in the EU.
‘When we started this process, some accused us of treating EU nationals as bargaining chips. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
‘EU citizens who have made their lives in the UK have made a huge contribution to our country . And we want them and their families to stay. I couldn’t be clearer: EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay.’,
In a message posted on the PM’s Facebook page, and sent direct to 100,000 EU nationals who have asked to receive updates on Citizens’ Rights, she will add: ‘We are in touching distance of agreement. I know both sides will consider each other’s proposals for finalising the agreement with an open mind And with flexibility and creativity on both sides, I am confident that we can conclude discussions on citizens’ rights in the coming weeks.
‘I know there is real anxiety about how the agreement will be implemented. People are concerned that the process will be complicated and bureaucratic, and will put up hurdles that are difficult to overcome. I want to provide reassurance here too.
‘We are developing a streamlined digital process for those applying for settled status in the UK in the future. This process will be designed with users in mind, and we will engage with them every step of the way.’
Furthermore, the PM commits to:
• No longer requiring EU citizens settling here to have to demonstrate Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as they currently have to under EU rules.
• Keeping the cost of the settlement process as ‘low as possible’
• Establishing a simple process to allow people who already have Permanent Residence to swap this for the new settled status
Then she will turn to EU citizens again, adding and concluding via her direct message:
‘To keep development of the system on track, the Government is also setting up a User Group that will include representatives of EU citizens in the UK, and digital, technical and legal experts.
‘This group will meet regularly, ensuring the process is transparent and responds properly to users’ needs. And we recognise that British nationals living in the EU27 will be similarly concerned about potential changes to processes after the UK leaves the EU. We have repeatedly flagged these issues during the negotiations. And we are keen to work closely with EU Member States to ensure their processes are equally streamlined.
‘We want people to stay and we want families to stay together. We hugely value the contributions that EU nationals make to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the UK. And I know that Member States value equally UK nationals living in their communities.
‘I hope that these reassurances, alongside those made by both the UK and the European Commission last week, will provide further helpful certainty to the four million people who were understandably anxious about what Brexit would mean for their futures.’