MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United Kingdom has agreed to ensure rights of EU nationals arriving in the country until the withdrawal day in 2019, the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday citing sources with knowledge of the situation around Brexit negotiations.
"The UK has been softening up on the first cut-off date. At first they didn’t want it to be put at the Brexit date. Now, while they are not saying it publicly that it will be Brexit date, it is clearly understood that it will be," a diplomatic source was quoted as saying.
The source explained that London had to soften its position after people had stopped coming, while others had been leaving, and UK industries as well as National Health Service (NHS) felt the negative consequences of these developments.
Since UK Prime Minister Theresa May notified Brussels on March 29 about United Kingdom's intention to leave the bloc, London has been open about the possibility that EU nationals arriving after the notification would enjoy less rights amid concerns that Brexit announcement would trigger a massive wave of EU citizens trying to enter the country before the withdrawal.
The negotiations between the two parties are thought to be in a deadlock. The previous five rounds have been devoted to three major topics: the cost of Brexit, rights of the EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom, and issues concerning Northern Ireland and Ireland. Brussels and London will manage to proceed with the second stage of negotiations, devoted to the terms of Brexit, only when a consensus is reached on these three issues.