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.
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.
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.
Either general registration of all UK & EU citizens or Art 18 EU treaty: any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.— RealMiller (@RealMiller) 18 октября 2017 г.
I feel sick.— Jude 1:13 (@kjvjude113) 18 октября 2017 г.
Pointless pedantry.— Robin Green🌹🔰 (@greenrd) 18 октября 2017 г.
The next thing they'll make you wear a badge— ArsenalNorthWales SC (@ArsenalNWales) 17 октября 2017 г.
Will they be given nice little "EU" patches to wear on their clothing too?— Jon_Davis (@JDavis_Avatar) 17 октября 2017 г.
Present treatment of EU citizens shows the UK govt would likely use registration as a means to discourage EU citizens from coming.— Antonia Oprita (@AntoniaOprita) 24 сентября 2017 г.
However, others do not consider the UK initiative illegal or very much troubling.
You apply double standards to UK immigration. You dismiss registration of EU immigrants even though this is standard in your own Belgium.— PaulWenman (@p_wenman) 23 сентября 2017 г.
As an EU National I had to register for Registration Certificate to be able to work in the UK so I don’t understand what the issue is— Boyan (@BoyanNenadovic) 23 сентября 2017 г.
Only other EU members can have registration scheme?Not UK because we don't like them and they're leaving.— John Tweedy (@Tjohnt1) 23 сентября 2017 г.
Registration is an existing EU rule used across the EU to manage migration of EU nationals. The UK is only doing what it should've done.— Bruce Bröß بروس (@BruceHaswell) 24 сентября 2017 г.
I came on work permit for research assistant in 1973 just before UK referendum to join EU- registration yes, finger printing not sure.— (((Lilly Evans))) (@Alheri) 27 сентября 2017 г.
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.
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.