Monday, 26 June 2017

EU citizens must bring family over before Brexit or face tougher immigration



Theresa May has told EU citizens they must bring family members over to Britain before Brexit or face tougher immigration rules, in a move that will dismay her European counterparts.
 
The Prime Minister has decided not to heed the call from the European Commission to allow EU citizens living in the UK the right to be joined by family members after Brexit, as part of a deal on citizens' rights for the estimated 3.2 million EU nationals living in the UK

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Instead, Mrs May said family dependents joining EU citizens living in the UK after Britain's exit "will be subject to the same rules as those joining British citizens" who arrive after the cut-off point.


The Government also again rejected calls from the EU that the rights of citizens be upheld by the European Court of Justice, stating in its offer document today that the ECJ "will not have jurisdiction in the UK", but would instead be guaranteed by UK law.


Following the PM's statement, the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted: "EU goal on #citizensrights: same level of protection as in EU law. More ambition, clarity and guarantees needed than in today's UK position."


Meanwhile, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt wrote: "A number of limitations remain worrisome and will have to be carefully assessed."


The differences in position - both on rights and who enforces them - underline how tough these negotiations could be in the coming weeks, as the two sides try to thrash out a deal that will affect one million Britons living in the EU and an estimated 3.2 million EU citizens living in the UK.


The scale of the administrative task facing the Government was also laid bare on Monday, as the Home Office said it had given itself a two-year window to process applications from EU citizens for "settled status" to protect their rights.


That could amount to over 4,000 applications a day.


"It's most definitely a challenge for the Home Office," said an official.


The Government said it would scale up the operations to process applications but admitted that it had not done a study on whether there will be a surge in migration before the cut-off point.


The 15-page document will grant EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years "settled status" after Britain leaves, meaning they will be treated as if they are UK citizens for healthcare, education, benefits and pensions.




SKY      News.