Britain Prime Minister May's EU citizen rights offer needs more clarity: Michel Barnier

Britain needs to show more "ambition" and "clarity" than in proposals it made on Monday for post-Brexit rights of European Union nationals living in the country, the EU negotiator said.

Published: 26th June 2017 10:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2017 10:44 PM   |  A+A-

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (File | AP)


BRUSSELS: Britain needs to show more "ambition" and "clarity" than in proposals it made on Monday for post-Brexit rights of European Union nationals living in the country, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said.

Barnier delivered the warning after British Prime Minister Theresa May set out proposals for the rights of EU nationals that include new residency permit requirements and family reunion rules after Britain's withdrawal from the 28-nation bloc. 

"EU goal on #citizensrights: same level of protection as in EU law. More ambition, clarity and guarantees needed than in today's UK position," Barnier said in a tweet.

May is also on a collision course with Brussels after vowing that the European Court of Justice would not be allowed to protect their rights.

In a 17-page policy document published on Monday, May set out her proposals for family dependents of EU citizens and a promise to exclude those convicted of serious crimes.

But the offer on allowing spouses from outside Britain to move to the country after Brexit falls short of what Brussels had called for.

The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt welcomed May's proposal to simplify residency application procedures but said there were "a number of limitations" in the proposals.

Verhofstadt warned that "any degradation of the rights linked to freedom of movement" before Britain leaves the EU would be contrary to EU law.

During a summit in Brussels last week, EU leaders had warned that May's initial plans to protect the rights of European citizens post-Brexit risked leaving them worse off.

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