European Union parliament condemns United Kingdom Brexit proposals on citizen rights

Brussels: The European Parliament's group on Brexit negotiations has made a damning assessment of British proposals on EU citizens' rights after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, a further indication of how tough the two-year negotiations are expected to become.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

In a letter Monday to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and seen by The Associated Press, the group said "the UK does not respect the principles of reciprocity, symmetry and non-discrimination." Furthermore, it said that under the UK proposals made on 26 June, EU citizens in Britain would be looking at "nothing less than relegation to second-class status."

Citizens' rights in each other's nations are considered the first issue that both sides must settle. Even though Barnier is leading the negotiations, the European Parliament still has a veto right on any deal.

Recently, Barnier had said that Britain cannot enjoy "frictionless" trade with EU partners after it leaves the union. He took a tough position on the Brexit negotiations, warning there will be "negative" consequences no matter what.

He said the consequences would be even worse if the EU and Britain can't agree on departure terms, and there's no "reasonable justification" for failing to reach a deal. He insisted, however, that the EU isn't trying to punish Britain for voting to leave.


Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 15:26 PM

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