SIMON Manley, the UK’s ambassador to Spain, ‘hopes’ the EU will agree to the British government’s proposals over citizens’ rights post-Brexit.
The UK has offered a ‘reciprocal deal that would protect the right of UK nationals already in the EU to continue to live and work in the EU’, said Manley.
In an open letter to British citizens in Spain, Britain’s man in Madrid also said the UK ‘wants to continue’ providing healthcare for EU-based pensioners ‘on the same basis’ as the current S1 system.
“It is our intention to treat EU citizens with settled status in the UK in the same way as if they were UK citizens for the purposes of access to education, benefits and pensions,” said Manley.
“The UK will continue to export and uprate the UK State Pension and provide associated healthcare cover within the EU.”
He added: “We want an agreement that provided citizens greater certainty about their future.”
Under the government’s plans, British travellers would also be able to retain existing rights under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which offers free, or reduced-cost, healthcare in the EU.
Travellers from the EU to the UK would also continue to enjoy the same rights.
Last month, Theresa May said the 3.4 million EU nationals living in the UK would have to apply for settled status.
Among criticisms of the plan are it could see them lose their right to bring a spouse to the UK unless they meet the £18,600 minimum earning threshold.
Over 150,000 EU citizens who have already applied for permanent residency through a much-criticised 85-page document would have to re-apply for special status.
EU nationals could also lose the right to vote in local elections.