THE constant state of limbo for the UK’s exit from the European Union continues, with Spain’s Conservative MP Alberto Costa demanding status protection for all citizens.
That takes in Spanish or Brits, living in Spain or the UK, even if there is a no-deal Brexit outcome.
Last Monday’s meeting, between UK Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay and Tory MP Costa, came after the EU rejected the latest amendment to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in February, which aimed to secure citizens’ rights.
Mina Andreeva, who acts as the European Commission spokeswoman, then said the EU did not seek to “negotiate mini-deals”.
This enforced the EU’s lingering frustration with the UK, and highlights further the major differences between May’s negotiated deal with the EU, and the UK parliament’s resistance to accepting it.
The EU stance remains, and it is not of their members’ own doing; thus, they will not be drawn into partisan politics between Labour, the various factions of the Conservative Party and other fringe parties, forming the UK Parliament.
With nearly 1.5m UK citizens living in the EU member states, and more than three million EU nationals in the UK, this contentious issue, along with the potential hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, needs to be resolved.
Michel Barnier, EU chief negotiator, informed the UK Government in March, that coming to any sort of agreement on the status of citizens would be “far from straightforward” if, at the same time, the UK ignored the other major, outstanding issues, which need to be agreed on before the UK’s official withdrawal from the EU.
As it stands, there seems to be a deadlock in the negotiations between the UK and the EU, and it appears that it is already having an effect on the multi-billion-pound tourism industry. That’s because up to 10% fewer Brits are, reportedly, travelling to EU countries.
Spain however, is still the top target, according to Thomas Cook, for Brits looking to leave the misery of Brexit negotiations behind them.
Following Monday’s meeting, MP Costa said: “British citizens in the EU and EU nationals in the UK have, through their representatives, made it clear to the Government that the amendment, ring-fencing citizens’ rights, must be championed.
“I am glad the Secretary of State has agreed to respond to Mr Barnier directly, insisting on the protection of five million people’s rights, in the absence of the withdrawal agreement being passed.”
With the European Parliamentary elections now set for the end of this month, which wasn’t, initially, thought possible, following the UK’s Brexit referendum on 23rd June 2016, there are two new parties hoping to get their new Member of European Parliament elected.
The first newcomer is called “Change UK”, formerly known as “The Independent Group”.
The second group is called the “Brexit Party”, formed by ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who, no doubt, will be looking to reside in the European Parliament, until the UK actually leaves the EU!
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