Saturday, 11 February 2017

I have no doubt that UK will soon resolve status of EU nationals in U.K., and U.K. Nationals in EU, but this requires pan European agreement

I very much wish to resolve the issue of the ongoing status of EU nationals. But at the same time this requires the agreement of the other 27 EU national states both as to the rights of their citizens and the rights of the UK nationals resident in mainland Europe. 

This was the Prime Minister in the House of Commons last week on this point:

'My honourable friend obviously raises an issue that is of concern to all members across this house, and of concern to many individuals outside this house who want reassurance about their future; and, as I’ve said, I want to be able to give that and expect to be able to give that reassurance, but I do want to see the same reassurance for UK citizens living in the EU.

“What I can say to my honourable friend is that when I trigger Article 50, I intend to make it clear that I want this to be a priority for an early stage of the negotiations so we can address this issue and give reassurance to people concerned.”

For myself, I am confident that this matter will be resolved speedily and with equal rights on all parts. But there are genuine reasons for the delay. Most significantly this requires an agreement between 28 countries. 
As the BBC have made clear this is not a simple issue on several levels: 

The Home Secretary spelt out the complexity of the issue in terms of agreement as follows this week:
"European citizens already resident in the UK make a vital contribution both to our economy and our society, and a number of colleagues have spoken to me recently seeking assurances about their immigration status when we leave the EU.
There is absolutely no question of treating EU citizens with anything other than the utmost respect, recognising the contribution they make not just to our economy, but also working in crucial public services like the NHS. Without them we would be poorer and our public services weaker. That’s why we will be making securing their status, as well as that of British nationals in the EU, a priority as soon as we trigger Article 50 and the negotiations begin.
I know some colleagues are concerned about how long this might take to resolve, but the Government remains committed to providing reassurance to EU nationals here and UK nationals in the EU as a priority once Article 50 has been triggered. The hold-up is less an issue of principle than one of timing with a few EU countries insisting there can be 'no negotiation before notification', and therefore that nothing can be settled until Article 50 is triggered. "