BRITISH citizens living in the EU could lose their right to live in another EU country after Brexit, it has been reported.
According to a report in the Guardian, British officials raised the issue during intense Brexit discussions in Brussels.
EU officials reportedly said they were willing to look at the matter, but wanted a reciprocal offer from Britain guaranteeing the same rights for 3.4 million EU citizens in the UK.
“We still have doubts about the EU’s plans and their commitment to upholding citizens’ rights,” a UK source told the Guardian.
“The UK has put a serious offer on the table, but there are significant gaps in the EU’s offer.”
The source told the Guardian there was agreement on 50% of the discussions over citizens’ rights.
Some 1.2 million Britons living in the EU would be affected by the withdrawal of the right to live in another country.
It would mean, for example, a British person living in Spain was unable to move to France for a period of time.
The British government’s proposed ‘settled status’ would see EU nationals lose the right to remain in the UK if they left for two years or more.
“We would start from the assumption that in order to maintain the right of EU citizens to move around the EU27, this would require the UK to reciprocate by allowing EU citizens to continue to moving around freely,” a senior EU official told the Guardian.
“This is a subject of negotiations.”
Meanwhile, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said this week’s second round of Brexit negotiations with the British government has failed to break the deadlock.
There was a ‘fundamental divergence’ between the EU and UK negotiating teams, with Britain failing to accept ‘its accounts must be settled’.
“I know one has to compromise in negotiations but we are not there yet,” said Barnier.
“That’s the financial settlement, let’s be very clear. We want clarity on that because we need to be able work more until we come to areas of compromise.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis said he was ‘encouraged’ with the talks.
“We have had robust but constructive talks this week. Clearly there’s a lot left to talk about and further work before we can resolve this,” he said.
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