Talks in Brus­sels stum­ble over money but more progress made on ex­pats’ rights

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - By Dave Jones

THE EURO­PEAN Union’s chief ne­go­tia­tor on Brexit, Michel Barnier ad­mit­ted yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) that talks are in dead­lock over money but a lot of progress has been made on ci­ti­zens’ rights.

At the end of the fifth round of Brexit talks in Brus­sels, he said the EU and UK have reached ‘dead­lock’ over the fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment, which is ‘very dis­turb­ing’.

This means that not enough progress has been made to move on to ne­go­ti­a­tions over a trade deal.

How­ever, with po­lit­i­cal will ‘de­ci­sive progress is within our grasp over the next two months’ and fur­ther talks have been agreed.

The UK’s ne­go­tia­tor David Davis ad­mit­ted there is still ‘much work to be done’ but ‘we have come a long way’.

“It is im­por­tant to recog­nise the sig­nif­i­cant progress we have made since June,” he said in his clos­ing re­marks in Brus­sels yes­ter­day.

Mr Davis ex­plained that on ci­ti­zens’ rights, ‘we have made fur­ther progress to give Bri­tish ci­ti­zens in the EU and EU27 ci­ti­zens in the UK the great­est pos­si­ble le­gal cer­tainty about the fu­ture’.

“Our le­gal or­ders will, in the fu­ture, be dis­tinct and dif­fer­ent,” he said.

“So this week we ex­plored ways of mak­ing sure the rights we agree now will be en­forced in a fair and equiv­a­lent way.

"And in a way that gives ci­ti­zens con­fi­dence that their rights will be up­held.”

Mr Davis noted that they also fo­cused this week on ‘the other re­main­ing is­sues on which we have not yet ar­rived at a so­lu­tion’.

Th­ese are: the right to bring in fu­ture fam­ily mem­bers; to ex­port a range of ben­e­fits; to con­tinue to en­joy the recog­ni­tion of pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions; to vote in lo­cal elec­tions; to move within the 27 as a UK cit­i­zen; to leave for a pro­longed pe­riod and yet con­tinue to en­joy a right to re­main or per­ma­nent right of res­i­dence on re­turn.

“Th­ese is­sues are not easy, but we have ap­proached them with a shared spirit of try­ing to find so­lu­tions and both teams will now re­flect fur­ther on that,” he added.

Mr Davis said that ‘as a re­sult of our pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sions, the Com­mis­sion is also able to of­fer sim­i­lar guar­an­tees in re­turn for those Bri­tish ci­ti­zens in the Euro­pean Union’.

“This is a very wel­come clar­i­fi­ca­tion and has built real con­fi­dence that the rights of EU ci­ti­zens in the UK and Bri­tish ci­ti­zens in the Euro­pean Union - will con­tinue to be ac­ces­si­ble in the most straight­for­ward way pos­si­ble,” he noted.

“In sum­mary, I think that this week of talks has brought us even closer to a deal that gives ci­ti­zens’ rights to the le­gal cer­tainty that they de­serve.”

David Davis said progress has been made on ex­pats' rights

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