EU citizens’ rights to be protected post Brexit, says MAY. Her comments came in an open letter in the context of Britain’s upcoming withdrawal from the bloc
British Prime Minister Theresa May assured European Union citizens living in her country that their rights would be protected in British courts after Brexit.
May’s comments came in an open letter in the context of Britain’s upcoming withdrawal from the bloc, Efe news agency reported.
“As we take back control of our laws, you can be confident not only that your rights will be protected in our courts, but that there will be a consistent interpretation of these rights in the UK and in the European Union,” said May.
The PM acknowledged that more than three million EU citizens had chosen to live and work in the country “without any expectation that the UK would leave the EU”.
She added that her “first priority” had been safeguarding the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British nationals living in EU member states.
The PM said that healthcare rights, pensions and other benefit provisions would not change after Brexit, and that if somebody had paid into the system — either in Britain or in another EU country — they would be able to benefit from this.
“If you already have five years of continuous residence in the UK at the point we leave the EU, on March 29, 2019, you will be eligible for settled status,” she said.
“And if you have been here for less than five years you will be able to stay until you have reached the five-year threshold.”
On Friday, Britain and EU reached an agreement in principle on protecting rights of EU and British citizens, the financial settlement and the border with the Republic of Ireland.
The agreement means that both parties are able to move onto the second stage of Brexit negotiations, in which talks trade deals are expected to start.