The insightful draft document strategically reveals EU’s stance in order to place negotiation goal posts so as to groom, prepare and speed up upcoming negotiations.
As per a draft paper based on which Brexit negotiations will begin, the EU will offer to protect the welfare and residence rights of Britons living in the bloc once Brexit negotiations begin next month.
“The Withdrawal Agreement should protect the rights of EU27 citizens, UK nationals and their family members who, at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, have enjoyed rights relating to free movement under Union law,” wrote EU officials in a draft paper on the starting goals for negotiators.
Previous EU negotiation positions have revealed that Brussels will aim to protect the rights of 3 million citizens of the bloc who live in Britain. EU officials have said once Britain exits the bloc, they will have to be reciprocated by the EU for over a million British expatriates.
The draft goes on to discuss details on the wide extent of the rights EU wants for its citizens living in Britain. It also goes into specifics on what Brexit will mean for Britons, including those retirees who are reliant on EU pensions and health insurance rules and whose lives are supported under the Spanish sun.
The paper also delves into the nuances of earlier EU negotiating positions and spells out that the rights of EU residence who move to Briton should be protected and vice versa right upto the day of Brexit.
Significantly, these rights will include those of their families and include the rights which they will acquire only later.
Case in point: EU citizens who take up residence abroad in March 2019 will have to be guaranteed leave to remain until they had acquired legal residence for life after five years, in March 2024. Those who moved as students before Brexit, would be entitled to take up full-time work afterward, as if Britain were still in the EU.
Further, the progenies of EU citizens working in Britain would continue to receive family allowances even if they themselves did not live in Britain, said the paper.
This logic essentially underlines how a concession secured by David Cameron, May’s predecessor, to help persuade Britons to vote against Brexit lapsed when he lost last June’s referendum.
The other potential irritants for the next UK government include an EU executive will retain the power to monitor how Britain is applying the Brexit treaty to EU citizens and that the Union’s judges in Luxembourg remain the final arbiters.
Significantly, as per Brexit campaigners a key goal is for Britain to be outside of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Brexit negotiations are expected to begin in the week of June 19. The Brexit treaty is expected to be ready by October 2018.
May’s government has warned that they will walk out of negotiations, if they do not get a deal to regulate outstanding issues themselves.