UK must get its house in order on EU citizens’ rights before final Brexit deal – Hayes
Brian Hayes MEP today said that the UK needs to get its house in order on its compliance with EU freedom of movement principles before it leaves the EU.
“Right up until the Article 50 two year period expires, the UK is still a full member of the European Union and must comply fully with EU law as every other Member State does.
“There are serious charges being levelled at the UK government that it is in breach of the EU Citizens’ Rights Directive due to its treatment of EU nationals living in the UK who have applied for citizenship or permanent residency since the Brexit vote.
“EU parliamentarians claim that the UK government has put up a ‘bureaucratic wall’ for those who want to secure their future in the UK given the uncertainty of Brexit.
“The European Commission also has an outstanding infringement case against the UK in relation to barriers to free movement such as the rights of EU citizen family members and the UK’s ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ policy which has been used to justify expulsions of EU citizens from the UK after 3 months.
“EU nationals also must complete an 85 page document to obtain permanent residency, and must also provide a huge amount of documentation. Ireland’s residency application is just 5 pages long.
“The UK authorities must acknowledge these issues. We all know that the issue of EU and UK citizens’ rights is going to be a major sticking point in the negotiations. There may be uncertainty for Irish citizens also living in the UK. The UK needs to act on the free movement principles now in order to show to EU negotiators that it is capable of following through on its promises. Given that the amendment proposed through the House of Lords on EU citizens’ rights will be an important UK priority in the negotiations, we need to see some cooperation on their part that they can play by the rules into the future.”