herald

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Concern over EU citizens' rights in 'flawed' UK deal

Premier Theresa May
Premier Theresa May

EU citizens are "still in the dark" about their right to remain in the UK after Brexit, despite protections promised in the government's deal with the union, according to campaigners.

British prime minister Theresa May hailed the guarantees for the more than three million EU citizens living in the UK, saying they could carry on as normal, and David Davis, Britain's Brexit Secretary, said they could be "confident" of their rights.

Confidence

However, this confidence was questioned by some campaigners, who called the deal a "flawed compromise".

The situation is likely to be different for Irish citizens due to an agreement that the long-standing Common Travel Area (CTA) will be maintained.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar referenced the commitment that the CTA will be continued as he welcomed the broader terms of the deal relating to Ireland.

"British and Irish citizens will continue to have the freedom to live, work, study, access housing, healthcare, pensions and welfare in each other's countries as though we are citizens of both," he said.

But campaign group the3million, which represents EU nationals in the UK, said the agreement between negotiators from the British government and the EU was a "flawed compromise", and many people were uncertain as to whether they would qualify for the new "special status" to be implemented post- Brexit.

They said there were concerns about the "special status" provision and the limited oversight of the European Court of Justice, whose authority UK courts can consult with over rights disputes for eight years after Britain's withdrawal.

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