Brussels 'Troubled' by UK Plans to Force EU Citizens to Register After Brexit

British authorities said they would expect EU nationals permanently residing in the UK to undergo a registration process during the transition period right after Britain withdraws from the bloc. A cross-party group of MEPs have warned UK home secretary Amber Rudd that the government proposal is illegal.

Brussels finds the UK government's idea to force EU nationals living in Britain to obtain permanent residency cards by the end of 2018 "extremely troubling," a group of MEPs representing several parties in the European Parliament wrote in a letter to Amber Rudd, saying that such practice would be unacceptable for the EU.

The politicians insist that during the transition period after the UK withdraws from the bloc in March 2019 EU law would still be applicable to Britain and all its institutions for a certain period of time.

"Is the Home Office suggesting that only non-UK EU citizens need to register? Article 26 of the freedom of movement directive makes it very clear that residency cards are for everyone, or no one," the politicians wrote in the letter.

Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox speaks at the Qatar UK Business and Investment Forum in London, Britain March 27, 2017 - Sputnik International
UK Int'l Trade Secretary Assures Absence of Brexit Deal With EU Not 'Nightmare'
The negative reaction from Brussels came as the latest data released by the UK Home Office revealed that the registration initiative has already led to a bureaucratic nightmare in the country.

According to the published figures, Britain is struggling to cope with numerous applications from EU citizens for permanent residency certificates, with waiting times to receive them almost tripling from 43 to 116 days.

People's Reaction

The UK plans have also caused vivid reaction among social media users.

Many people opposed the move, calling it a "pedantry" and saying that the registration of EU nationals shouldn't be introduced, otherwise it should apply to both UK and EU citizens.

However, others do not consider the UK initiative illegal or very much troubling.

EU-UK Dispute

The post-Brexit rights of both UK citizens in the European Union and EU countries' citizens living in the United Kingdom has become one of the main disputed issues in the course of Brexit negotiations between the two parties.

The European Union's initial offer suggested that all UK nationals residing in the bloc would be able to benefit from all the rights they currently enjoy, including the freedom of movement.

The EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, welcomes British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday July 13, 2017. - Sputnik International
Is Europe Preparing Plan B? As Brexit Talks Get Nowhere, EU Welcomes Corbyn
However, in June, the UK government announced that EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom would have to apply for "settled status."

In July, the media reported that UK nationals residing in the European Union might lose the right to move freely between EU member states or travel back and forth from the United Kingdom, unless London offers the same guarantees to the bloc's residents living in the country.

The European Parliament can put a veto on any provisions of the agreement on Brexit between the UK and the EU, including those concerning the transition period.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала