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UK still falls short on guaranteeing EU citizens’ rights

Gabriele Zimmmer, Vorsitzende der EP-Linksfraktion GUE/NGL

Ahead of the latest round of Brexit talks tomorrow, the EU and the UK are still nowhere near an agreement over EU citizens’ rights post-Brexit. This is despite media reports that a deal is imminent and that the next phase of the negotiations on trade can begin in December.

That was the verdict of the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group (BSG) which met on Wednesday when it revealed that a number of major disagreements have yet to be resolved.

One major sticking point is Britain’s proposals for ‘settled’ status for EU citizens in the UK and the administrative process for acquiring this status.

Commenting after the BSG meeting, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer said:

"Back in March 2017, GUE/NGL demanded swift and unconditional legal certainty for EU citizens who reside in the UK, and for UK citizens in the EU. Yesterday's proposal by the UK in no way fulfils any of these criteria.”

“If this is Theresa May´s proposal for guaranteeing citizens' rights then we are far from ‘sufficient progress’ and we are definitely not ready to discuss future relations."

Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli also believes that the UK proposals are inadequate:

“Uncertainty remains the common denominator for the lives of millions of EU citizens living in UK and vice-versa.”

“The promise made by Theresa May in her Florence Speech – ‘one of my first goals in this negotiation to ensure that you can carry on living your lives as before’ – seems like a distant memory.”

“The settled status she ‘offers’ is a status with lesser rights for EU citizens living in UK,” she concluded.

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Konföderale Fraktion der Vereinten Europäischen Linken/Nordische Grüne Linke (GUE/NGL)