Ex­pats be­come a bar­gain­ing chip

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - SPANISH NEWS - By Dave Jones and James Parkes news@cb­news.es

UK PRIME Min­is­ter Theresa May has claimed her of­fer to guar­an­tee the rights of EU cit­i­zens in the UK has been snubbed by some Euro­pean lead­ers.

In her key­note speech on Tues­day, Mrs May said she wanted to seal an early deal on the is­sue of the three mil­lion EU cit­i­zens in the UK and Bri­tish ex­pats liv­ing in Europe, but she did not have the back­ing of all 27 mem­ber states.

“We want to guar­an­tee the rights of EU cit­i­zens who are al­ready liv­ing in Bri­tain and the rights of Bri­tons in other mem­ber states as early as we can,” she stated.

Mrs May said she had told EU lead­ers the deal could be se­cured now.

“Many of them favour such an agree­ment, one or two oth­ers do not,” she said.

Fol­low­ing the speech, EU chief Brexit ne­go­tia­tor Guy Ver­hof­s­tadt said the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment had cho­sen a ‘hard Brexit’.

He added: “I am also sur­prised by the lack of clar­ity on the sta­tus of UK cit­i­zens in Europe and EU cit­i­zens in Bri­tain.

“May should have taken the le­git­i­mate con­cerns of the 48% on board.”

Mr Ver­hof­s­tadt said the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment will pre­pare for the ne­go­ti­a­tions ahead but the days of ‘UK cherry-pick­ing’ have come to an end.

“I want to be clear - threat­en­ing to turn Bri­tain into a tax heaven is a coun­ter­pro­duc­tive ne­go­ti­at­ing tac­tic, which will hurt Bri­tish peo­ple and dam­age Bri­tain’s cred­i­bil­ity,” he stated.

Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion JeanClaude Juncker said he had spo­ken to Theresa May on Tues­day evening and told her the Com­mis­sion was not in a hos­tile mood.

“We want a fair deal with Bri­tain, and a fair deal for Bri­tain, but a fair deal means a fair deal for the Euro­pean Union,” he said.

He added it would be ‘a very, very, very dif­fi­cult ne­go­ti­a­tion’ be­cause Bri­tain would be con­sid­ered as a for­eign coun­try to the rest of the EU.

Pound plum­mets but climbs again

The im­me­di­ate con­se­quence of Theresa May's 'Clean Brexit' speech was a fall in pound ster­ling in the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

The of­fi­cial rate dropped from 1.145 to 1.130 on Mon­day when key as­pects of the PM's speech were leaked out.

How­ever, the Bri­tish cur­rency re­cov­ered dur­ing the next few days and yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) it in­creased its value against the euro to 1.155.

In Benidorm ex­change of­fices the rate of­fered was 1.13 eu­ros to the pound yes­ter­day.

Ex­pats liv­ing on the Costas who were hop­ing for a 'soft' Brexit that would have re­sulted in a sta­tus such as Nor­we­gian or Swiss cit­i­zens have were de­liv­ered a se­vere blow.

An­a­lysts have re­garded 'Clean Brexit' as a 'Hard Brexit with bet­ter PR'. Her 12-point plan rules out par­tial mem­ber­ship and will not in­clude re­main­ing in the Com­mon Mar­ket.

Photo DPA

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