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Optimism over post-Brexit deal for ex-pats

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Optimism over post-Brexit deal for ex-pats

Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament Brexit negotiator
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There is room for optimism over the rights of expatriate citizens after Brexit as the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, said a deal was close.

Speaking after a meeting with the British Prime Minister, Verhofstadt said it was possible progress could be made on the issue in the coming days and weeks.

"The citizens rights' chapter is really done, is finished, is concluded and that everybody knows UK nationals and EU citizens what is their status in the future," he said.

Citizens' rights are one of the relatively easier parts of the negotiation to unravel more than 40 years of union, but hit a snag when Britain said those people arriving from the EU after Brexit day in March next year would be treated differently.

This issue may be almost settled but other aspects of a deal to end Britain's membership of the EU are likely to be more complicated.

May urged EU negotiators last week to show more flexibility in talks on a future relationship, asking them to seal a deep trade deal, unlike any that has been signed before, to avoid any hard border with EU member Ireland.

But many of her ideas were met with scepticism, with Verhofstadt saying Britain had added a "few extra cherries on the cake".