EU's Tusk says British offer on expats' rights 'below expectations'

Claudine Rigal
Juin 24, 2017

He produced four editions on the day after the general election featuring headlines like "May's right royal mess" and "Queen of denial" and on the Marr programme a few days later he called her a "dead woman walking".

Macron said it is for Barnier to examine the offer. She stressed that the dialogue would continue.

"We don't want to buy a pig in a poke", Michel said, using an old expression for wanting to inspect something closely before buying it.

One of the EU's demands might be a sticking point.

Among other unresolved questions is the fate of partners of European Union nationals who come from outside Europe.

Michel insisted Brexit negotiations should proceed without fanciful distractions.

Leaders had agreed with summit chair Donald Tusk not to open discussions with May and she left early on Thursday evening, leaving the other 27 to discuss other Brexit issues without her.

His comments were echoed by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker who used the same press conference to describe the proposals as "a first step, but not sufficient".

The rights of Europeans in Britain have been a top priority for European negotiators, amid complaints that they're being treated as bargaining chips, and over fears they could face deportation after the U.K.'s exit deadline of March 30, 2019.

"Everyone in Europe wants a situation where we have a blanket fair treatment of all our citizens". They also dispute her attempt to limit those rights potentially to people already living in Britain before she triggered Brexit three months ago.

Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern said May's offer was a "good first proposal, which I appreciate, but it's clear that we have to invest much more work".

He said he looked forward to seeing the more technical details, including on judicial oversight of citizen rights, when Britain publishes a formal paper on the issue Monday.

The claim comes after the PM set out her offer on residency rights for EU citizens to a European Council summit in Brussels, which is conditional on British expats in Europe being afforded the same rights.

'We also want to see progress on robust transitional arrangements to run over a number of years, and efforts towards ensuring trade is as free as possible, with frictionless customs arrangements between Britain and the European Union'.

About 3 million European Union citizens live in Britain and more than 1 million Britons live elsewhere in Europe. Securing guarantees for their future is a key part of the Brexit talks.

"The election result is certainly a bump in the road for Brexiteers, but its significance should not be overplayed", said Matthew Elliott, who was chief executive of Vote Leave, the official leave campaign in last year's referendum.

She also suggested that while rights would be enforced by British courts, they could also be enshrined in global law if the agreement was included in the final treaty of withdrawal.

The coordinator for the Brexit negotiations in the legislature said that "unclarity about the cutoff date, family reunification and uncertainty about jurisdiction are not what we are looking for". She added she would spell out the details of her plan on Monday.

The opinion of the European parliament is important since the legislature will have to approve any Brexit deal.

"They will be enshrined in United Kingdom law, they will be enforced through the highly respected United Kingdom courts, and of course if this is an aspect of the withdrawal treaty then it will be enshrined in worldwide law as well", she said.

"On PESCO and the creation of the European Defence Fund, I want to thank the COM for the proposal", Merkel said echoing Macron.

Leaders of Poland, France, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia discussed Brexit and May's proposals at a meeting Friday on the sidelines of the summit.

After a string of small-scale terrorist attacks in European capitals this week, the EU leaders also agreed to join efforts seeking to curb online extremism and crack down on Europeans who go overseas to fight jihad.

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