27 Oct 27.10.2017 PM’s open letter to EU citizens in the UK
27.10.2017 PM’s open letter to EU citizens in the UK
Ahead of the EU Council last week, Theresa May wrote directly to EU citizens living in the UK in order to reiterate her commitment to protecting the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU. The PM reassured EU citizens lawfully residing in the UK will have guaranteed stay post-Brexit and that the government is not using them as “bargaining chips” in negotiations.
The letter acknowledged EU nationals’ contribution to the UK’s economic, social and cultural development. However, the prime minister failed to elaborate further on upholding the rights of EU workers in the UK. May confirmed her willingness to conclude the discussions on citizen’s rights in the following weeks.
In the letter, the Prime Minister promised to develop an efficient and low-cost method for EU citizens to apply for “settled status” going forward and that the requirement to demonstrate Comprehensive Sickness Insurance will be removed. May confirmed that those EU citizens holding Permanent Residence under the old scheme will be able to obtain UK settled status without difficulty.
This letter aimed to address growing concerns amongst EU nationals in the UK and provide some clarity in relation to their future in the UK. The timing and content of the letter suggest that this message is aimed not only at EU citizens, but intended for the attention of the President of European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and other European leaders who will vote on the progress of the negotiations.