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Chief Brexit Negotiator Backs Idea to Let Britons Pay for EU Citizenship

© AP Photo / Yves LoggheAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt, addresses the media during a media conference called 'Russia after the elections - An evaluation of democracy and the rule of law in Putin's Russia' at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt, addresses the media during a media conference called 'Russia after the elections - An evaluation of democracy and the rule of law in Putin's Russia' at the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - Sputnik International
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European Parliament's lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said that he likes the idea of Britons sending an annual fee to Brussels to keep EU citizenship.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — European Parliament's lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt supported the idea of Britons sending an annual fee to Brussels to keep EU citizenship, media reported Saturday.

"Many say 'we don't want to cut our links'. I like the idea that people who are European citizens and saying they want to keep it have the possibility of doing so. As a principle I like it," Verhofstadt told The Times.

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The scheme, which implies that Britons would pay an annual fee to be able to move free across the European Union, reside in other European countries and vote in EU elections, was proposed by Charles Goernes, a European Parliament member from Luxembourg.

European Parliament deputies will vote on the proposals concerning Brexit by the end of the year.

After British citizens voted to leave the European Union on June 26 referendum, the United Kingdom has to negotiate a new relationship with the European Union. British Prime Minister Theresa May is committed to invoking the Brexit procedure by March 2017. Among many other issues the country has to settle is the status of the UK citizens living in the EU member countries and non-UK citizens residing in the United Kingdom.

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