Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham, Greg Hands, has welcomed the Government’s proposals on protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, following Brexit.
On 26 June, the Government published its policy paper “Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU”, which defines the UK’s fair and serious offer to protect EU citizens’ rights in the UK, and UK citizens’ rights in the EU following Brexit.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, reminded Parliament that EU citizens make an invaluable contribution to the UK, and that the Government wants to provide them with certainty about their future in the UK.
The Prime Minister once again made it clear these proposals should be part of a reciprocal agreement for EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, an agreement which the Government wants to determine as quickly as possible.
The Prime Minister said: “EU citizens are an integral part of the economic, cultural and social fabric of our country and I have always been clear that I want to protect their rights.
“That is why I initially sought an agreement on this before we triggered Article 50. And it is why I am making it an immediate priority at the beginning of the negotiations.
“That agreement must be reciprocal because we must protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU too.
“Our offer will give those 3 million EU citizens in the UK certainty about the future of their lives. And a reciprocal agreement will provide the same certainty for the more than 1 million UK citizens who are living in the European Union.”
The Government’s policy paper makes it clear how EU citizens intending to remain in the UK will be able to do so, in proposing the creation of a new ‘settled status’ for EU citizens who arrive before a cut-off date, which is yet to be specified and will be agreed as part of the negotiations with the EU.
Commenting on these proposals Greg Hands, said: “This is good news for the thousands of EU nationals living in my constituency of Chelsea & Fulham, who I trust will be relieved by these proposals.
“17% of my constituency are nationals of other EU member states, and I know what an amazing contribution they make to the local community and to the national economy, and our wider society.
“We initially sought an agreement on this issue before we triggered Article 50, and we are making it an immediate priority at the beginning of the negotiations.
“We want the 3 million EU citizens who have made their lives and homes here in the UK to know that they will be able to stay and carrying on doing so. And a reciprocal agreement will provide the same certainty for the more than 1 million British people living in the EU.”
More details on the Government’s proposals can be found here.