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Immigration/Emmigration

EU children may have to apply to stay in UK after Brexit – leaked report

European commission analysis of No 10’s proposals concludes there was a ‘lack of clarity’ and no reciprocity

 Demonstrator in EU flag
 Theresa May has said the 3 million EU citizens currently in the UK can apply for ‘settled status’. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May’s proposal on citizens’ rights after Brexit does not offer EU citizens the certainty being sought by Brussels, and it would even force children to apply to stay in the UK, according to a leaked European commission analysis of the British government’s position.

A preliminary assessment of what Downing Street has called its ‘generous offer’showed up a series of problems that would need to be negotiated away, the EU’s remaining 27 member states were told during a presentation by the commission this week.

There was a “general lack of clarity … many issues still to be clarified, no reciprocity, [a] lack of legal certainty, no lifelong protection against future changes of UK law [and] no directly enforceable vested rights and no European court of justice”.

Neither could the British government’s opening stance published on Monday, across 15 pages, be described as a “reciprocal offer” as citizens in the UK and in the EU would be subject to different laws and courts, the commission said.

“UK law for EU citizens v EU law for UK nationals [on the continent is] more favourable for UK nationals,” it was claimed.

The EU side had also called for for the establishment of smooth administrative procedures for those seeking to stay in the UK after Brexit in their position paper, yet “all shall apply for settled status, including children” under the UK’s proposal, the commission briefed the member states, adding that there would be “administrative formalities for all citizens and each family member”.

And as EU nationals would be under UK law, they would have to meet an income threshold demanded of the British government if they wished to be reunited in Britain with a non-EU spouse in the future.

The response from the commission suggests that the UK is unlikely to achieve swift agreement with the EU on their paper, despite the British prime minister’s claim that she had made a “fair and serious” offer.

May had told parliament on Monday that the arrangements she was offering would give “reassurance and certainty” to the 3.2 million EU citizens who lived in the UK.

EU sources have previously warned that a failure to live up to Brussels hawkish stance on citizens rights would lead to consequences for Britons on the continent and Ireland.

It has, however, been reported that the EU is willing to give ground on its demand that its judges protect the future rights of EU citizens in the UK.

Three EU officials told Bloomberg that Brussels would consider establishing a new arbitration body featuring representatives from both sides.

Meanwhile, following a meeting with the campaign group representing EU citizens in Britain, Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator has spoken on Twitter of his concerns about the debate.

The two sides will reengage in top level negotiations on 17 July in Brussels, when the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the Brexit secretary David Davis meet again.

Davis has come under fire for supporting the introduction for ID documents for EU citizens despite his leadership of a campaign against such cards during the premiership of Tony Blair.

The Liberal Democrat MP and former cabinet minister Ed Davey, said: “David Davis resigned his seat and caused a by-election because he was disgusted by the assault on civil liberties by the then Labour government. What will he do this time round?”

Davis denied claims of hypocrisy. He told the Commons: “We are talking about documentation to prove that people have the right to a job and the right to residence, but they will not have to carry that around all the time. It is not an ID card; it is rather like your birth certificate. It’s not an ID card.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/28/eu-children-may-have-to-apply-to-stay-in-uk-after-brexit-leaked-analysis-says

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