19 Jun, 2017 @ 16:38
1 min read

Brexit talks begin as expats in Spain urge No.10 to protect existing rights


THE rights of 1.2 million Brits living in the EU and three million EU citizens in the UK must be ‘the highest priority’ in Brexit negotiations, campaigners have said.

British In Europe urged Brexit Secretary David Davis to protect expats currently living ‘in limbo’ by securing a deal on existing rights.

Landmark talks on Britain leaving the EU began on Monday, with the rights of British and EU citizens abroad high on the list of priorities.

EU negotiators have told British In Europe, a coalition which includes campaign groups in Spain, that current citizens’ rights should remain unchanged.

BREXIT TALKS: Expats and EU citizens’ rights top of agenda

But with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier saying any deal over citizens’ rights would be null and void without an overall Brexit deal, fear and uncertainty remain high.

Jane Golding, Chair of British in Europe, said: “For the past year, Theresa May has repeatedly refused to make a unilateral offer to the three million EU citizens in the UK.

“She has said this is to protect the rights of the 1.2 million UK citizens in Europe but we have no detailed information on what that might mean.”

She added: “The EU offer gives plenty of detail and goes almost all the way to guaranteeing all our rights but everything depends on how the UK decides to respond.”

A spokesperson for the UK government’s the Department for Exiting the European Union (EU) said its ‘first aim’ was to securing the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU.

“We want to end the anxiety facing four million citizens,” he said. “That has always been our first aim and that is what we will do. That is why we are pushing ahead with negotiations on Monday.”

This month, Theresa May said she would make ‘a very generous offer’ on rights for three million EU citizens.

Sue Wilson from campaign group Bremain In Spain said: “We are impatient to hear exactly what Theresa May’s ‘generous offer’ for EU/UK citizens is going to look like.

“It seems unlikely that it will even come close to the generous offer that has already been outlined in detail by the EU.

“All our discussions with the EU have been fully transparent – it’s time the UK government behaved the same way.”


Joe Duggan (Reporter)

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  1. An extremely worrying situation for myself and my family. My wife has her residencia as a non-eu family member. If i lose my european status she loses her her right to live in Europe. I fear we will be forgotten about in these negotiations.

  2. What happened to the idea of those who voted to stay in then they could possibly have the option to keep their European nationality? Very interesting times…Id like to bet that many of those who voted out will opt to keep their Eu passport should the opportunity rise..I think there will be many regretting where they placed the cross on the ballot paper..

  3. I agree with both the above comments. There are many people who deeply regret their stupid decision to put a cross in the Leave box but few will admit it – Brexiteers are weighed down with dogma. My father confessed at the weekend that he now regrets his decision to vote Leave. It was impossible for Leave voters to know what they were voting for last June, nobody knows what Brexit will look like now so they definitely didn’t know a year ago.

    I hope that Brexit dies a death before it does any more damage to individuals and completely crashes the UK economy. Of course it would make sense to strike a Norway type deal now and bring an end to all the uncertainty and stop the inevitable business relocations but it’s hard to imagine the swivel eyed loons in the current government actually getting anything right. The UK is now a laughing stock.

    I too hope that ‘associate EU citizenship’ will be an option for Brexit refugees and those in the UK who voted to Remain in the EU. It would probably take the form of an ID card and there would be an annual fee. It is still very much in the development stages but should be sorted out with the ‘citizens’ part of the negotiations, which the UK has had to concede will be dealt with first.

  4. Personally I do not think anyone has to worry too much, maybe a change in healthcare but no one is going to get thrown out. No EU country is saying anything yet as Brussels have said no discussions until the money is sorted out, so it is obvious where the priority’s lie in Brussels. I hope common sense prevails for the Ex pats of all nations across the EU.
    I also think the UK is better of out of the EU mainly because of the amount of money that is spent not only to the EU but because of the EU.

    • I disagree, do you actually live in one of the EU countries apart from the UK, if we are stripped of our EU Citizenship because of Brexit, we have no idea what is going to happen. As to halthcare, it would be nearly impossible to afford to pay in here on our pittance of a pension

    • Well you are one of the few who do not have to worry. and really you do have to get your facts right about the money spent and money returned. Perhaps some research on the EU’s website would elighten you?

      • I did do some research before I made the comment. in 2016 we paid £13 billion pounds of which the EU kindly gave us £4.5 billion back. On top of that are the costs no one seems to add in, a tunnel in Wales £55 million to bring up to EU standards regulations for workers that cost with one example a gardener self employed had to take a course to use a sprayer. He had to pay for the travel, pay for the course, loose a days earnings and then be taught by someone who knew less than him to get a piece of paper. The UK is getting bogged down in red tape and regulations that is costing industry/business billions.

        • On shaky ground moaning about “red tape” in light of the latest crime against humanity in the Grenfell Tower fire. MORE regulation, on health and safety is required. It is very fashionable to mock and decry safety rules on grounds of cost, but no price can be put on human lives.
          Silly anecdotes about costs to workers do not strengthen a case against safety rules. What is the price for an individual to gain a heavy-goods driving licence for instance? Should we go back to the Thirties, when all that was required to get on the road was five bob for a licence and off you go?
          As for Regs. costing billions, well, it’s going to cost even more billions in putting right the evasion of those regs. in this latest scandal.
          The desperation of Brexiteers is beginning to become much clearer as the idiocy unfolds. Drop it you clowns!

  5. You do not need to “depend” on the UK to survive here. Some are just scared because they were never interested in how people do that here. 20% unemployed in Spain. Pay raises are rare, almost inexistent. Yet, I do not get mugged in the street, three times a day. Never wondered why? Or how?

  6. You are not from the UK, your writing style gives you away. Mugged 3 times a day in the UK? Come on..
    The tidal wave of thefts, scams and robberies that have hit the coast between Marbella and La Linea has destroyed the myth that 20% unemployment has had no effect on the Spanish ‘safe’ way of life. Ask anyone who lives in the Manilva area about the current level of robberies and scammers.

      • Why bring immigrants into it? Poor people get hungry and desperate and often commit street crime in order to survive. Bad, but outrage needs to be directed at the causes of poverty. Pretty pointless bitching at the results of social maladministration, instead, castigate the bloated politicians who ARE responsible.

  7. Everyone knows that there are is a noticeable number of UK tourists and residents – certainly not the majority who are decent people – who are involved in petty crime, swindling, drunkenness and brawling, street sex and urination, real estate scams, financial fraud, etc. This uncivil minority, small as it might be, gives all UK people and foreigners a bad name.
    No doubt there are bad apples among the US people as well, but US people are not as numerous, therefore less visible.
    But denying the problem doesn’t make it disappear.
    Nor does suggesting that someone else is bad, too, makes one’s own cohort better. All anti-social people and criminals are a scourge, regardless of country of origin.

  8. Everyone knows that there are is a noticeable number of UK tourists and residents – certainly not the majority who are decent people – who are involved in crime, drunkenness and brawling etc. As small as it might be, that gives UK people and foreigners a bad name.
    There are bad apples among the US people as well, but they are fewer, therefore less visible.
    Denying the problem doesn’t make it disappear.
    Nor does saying other people are bad. too, make one’s own cohort better. Anti-social people and criminals are a scourge, regardless of country of origin.

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