Brexit: MEPs concerned over UK offer on EU citizens’ rights
The UK proposal to give EU citizens in the country “settled status” after Brexit is not what the EU needs, says EP Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt.
In a debate organised by the Constitutional Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Parliament’s chief Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) criticised the UK government for not ending the uncertainty created for EU citizens living in the UK since last year’s referendum.
He said that the British government’s recent offer to give EU citizens in the country “settled status” after Brexit is not what the EU needs at the end of withdrawal negotiations, stressing that the proposal risks downgrading the rights of EU citizens and creating a lot of administrative burden.
“Citizens cannot be the victims of this whole operation. Our proposal to the Commission at the start of political negotiations is to try to uphold the rights of EU citizens in the UK, while not removing rights from UK citizens on the continent. The European Union was not created to lower the standards for people”, he said.
In the debate, Mr Verhofstadt also called for more clarity on how to resolve the financial settlement between the UK and the EU, and elaborated on the concerns regarding the UK-Irish border question and future EU-UK cooperation within the field of nuclear activities (Euratom).
Watch the video recording of the debate (from around 11:00 to 12:00)