Javid urges EU to secure expats’ rights
HOME Secretary Sajid Javid has demanded reassurance from the EU over the rights of Britons living on the Continent following Brexit.
He fears that expats could lose their existing rights, and has pressed European leaders for information on the arrangements for UK citizens who want to remain in the EU after Britain leaves in December 2020.
Mr Javid said it was unclear what member states were doing to ensure that the rights of the 900,000 Britons in their countries were protected.
Insiders expressed concerns that EU leaders were using British citizens as ‘bargaining chips’ in Brexit negotiations after the Government guaranteed the rights of European citizens in the UK.
In a letter to Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Mr Javid wrote: ‘The Government cares deeply about the reciprocal arrangements for UK nationals living in the 27 member states.
‘We are concerned that as yet we have seen little information about the practical arrangements for securing their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
‘Is the European Parliament able to provide any reassurance about progress on equivalent arrangements for UK nationals? We are discussing this with the Commission and I would encourage you to press for similar assurances to protect UK nationals.’
Britain says all 3.2million EU nationals living in the UK can stay for the rest of their lives with the same rights as Britons.
Citizens who have lived in the UK lawfully for at least five years will gain ‘settled status’, giving them full access to schools, hospitals, pensions and benefits. Those who have been resident for a shorter period can stay on until they have reached the fiveyear threshold, as will those who arrive during the transition period.