Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Brexit: May offers hope for EU citizens, wins guarded praise

Published:Thursday | June 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM



British Prime Minister Theresa May promised Thursday that EU citizens will not be immediately kicked out of Britain when it leaves the union and says their fate will be a top priority in Brexit negotiations prompting guarded praise from other EU leaders at a tense time for the continent.

May's proposals at an EU summit were a carefully timed gesture days after talks began on Britain's departure. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called them "a good start." May laid out benchmarks for the rights of 3 million EU citizens living legally in Britain and how they should be shielded from excessive harm because of the divorce. She made it clear that Britain wants reciprocal measures for the 1.5 million British citizens living in the EU.

The issue of citizens' rights is especially sensitive in the Brexit talks.

Under May's proposal, EU citizens with legal residence in the UK will not be asked to leave and will be offered a chance to regularise their situation after Brexit, a senior British official said. May also promised to cut the burdensome bureaucracy such paperwork can involve, the official said.