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May reveals post-Brexit residency rights for EU nationals

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By Catherine Hardy  with PRESS ASSOCIATION
May reveals post-Brexit residency rights for EU nationals

Theresa May is laying out the post-Brexit “settled status” that will be offered to EU nationals in the UK.

Brexit Secretary David Davis says details of the plans would be set out in a 15-page document on Monday.

It comes after EU leaders reacted dismissively to outlines of the proposals last week.

“Second-class citizens”

Ministers are denying they will become second-class citizens.

Mr Davis has tried to reasssure the 3.2 million EU nationals in the UK that they would “effectively” have the same rights as British citizens.

He insisted he did not expect any EU nationals to be deported unless they had committed a crime or security issues were involved.

What has David Davis said?

In a media interview, he insisted the residency rights package for EU nationals would be fair.

“They get the same residence rights, the same employment rights, the same health rights, the same welfare rights, the same pension rights and so on, almost the equivalent to British citizens.”

“The only thing they don’t get is the right to vote.”

What about health rights?

Mr Davis said the Government was seeking to continue the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) initiative that ensures free medical care across the EU.

“We’re looking to see if we can get a continuation of the EHIC scheme as it now exists. And if we can’t get one, then we will provide one unilaterally.”

Will there be a cut-off point for residency?

Yes. Mr Davis said the cut-off point for EU nationals being resident in the UK to be eligible for the rights package would fall somewhere between Article 50 being triggered in March this year and Britain’s leaving date of March 2019.

Will the European Court of Justice have a say?

Davis said there would be a “fight” in Brexit negotiations over any role for the European Court of Justice in overseeing the rights of residents.

“The argument now is going to be more about whether the European Court of Justice has a say and that is where the fight comes in.”

What has Brussels said?

Theresa May’s offer on residency rights was branded a “first step, but not sufficient” by the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker at an EU summit last week.