12 December 2016
European nationals in the UK and British citizens living in the EU must have a guarantee they can remain in place after Brexit, campaigners say.
The Three Million group is demanding assurances people will not be used as “bargaining chips”. Meanwhile, the think tank British Future wants a “fair” cut-off date for any settlement and citizenship changes. The government says it wants to let the 2.8 million EU nationals stay in the UK, but member states must reciprocate.
The Three Million group is delivering a letter to Downing Street later on Monday, alongside 10 groups representing the 1.2 million UK citizens living in the EU.
It wants EU citizens living in the UK to be given permanent residence before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - getting Brexit negotiations with the EU under way - is triggered, which the government says will happen by the end of March. “We are not bargaining chips,” the letter reads. “We are people.” ‘Anxious future’ The report by British Future, which describes itself as an “independent, non-partisan think tank”, recommends the triggering of Article 50, as “a fair and legally watertight cut-off date”, after which changes to the settlement and citizenship rights of other EU nationals “might apply”.