EU lawmakers push UK on citizens' rights after Brexit

Telegram från AFP / Omni
08 jan. 2020, 12.52

The European Parliament will push for EU citizens to retain their right to live and work in Britain after it leaves the bloc, members said Wednesday.

Next week, MEPs will pass a resolution urging EU negotiators to make "ambitious provisions on the free movement of persons" part of trade talks with London.

They will argue that if Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to retain access to the EU single market for British exports, he must respect citizens' rights.

The European Parliament is expected to approve Britain's withdrawal agreement on January 29, allowing Brexit to take place two days later.

But MEPs have expressed concern that Johnson, buoyed by a new parliamentary majority, is already rowing back on commitments to EU nationals living in Britain.

David McAllister, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said: "There are clear expectations that the more we work together the more freedom of movement has to be maintained.

"The British government has to know: The more access to the internal market it wants, the more freedom of movement for citizens and mobility is necessary," the German MEP said.

The MEPs were meeting as the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was in London for her first meeting with Johnson since she took office last month.

She will give a wide-ranging speech at the London School of Economics before heading to Number 10, but is not expected to conduct any detailed negotiations.

Instead, her negotiator Michel Barnier is working with EU member states to draw up a detailed negotiating mandate to govern his post-Brexit talks with London.