The differences in position – both on rights and who enforces them – underline how tough these negotiations could be in the coming weeks, as the two sides try to thrash out a deal that will affect one million Britons living in the European Union and an estimated 3.2 million European Union citizens living in the UK.
May is also on a collision course with Brussels after vowing that the European Court of Justice would not be allowed to protect their rights.
The plans, which will form part of the negotiations with the EU, were sold as offering Europeans living here rights which are “almost equivalent to British citizens”. Dependents who join a relative here before Brexit will be able to apply for settled status after five years.
Those who arrived after a specified date [as yet to be determined] will be able to apply for a temporary period so they can accrue the necessary five years.
Asked about how much it would cost European Union citizens to establish their residency status in Britain, May’s spokesman said: “As a general principle [we] are looking to recover what is spent on the immigration system but we want the fee to be a very reasonable one”. The document makes it clear that after Brexit, they will be subject to the same rules as United Kingdom citizens, who need to have a minimum salary of 18,600 pounds to sponsor a non-EU spouse. He accused the government of using people as “bargaining chips” over Brexit negotiations.
May’s plans were widely criticized by fellow European leaders after her presentation in Brussels last week. “However, a number of limitations remain worrisome and will have to be carefully assessed”, he said.
But reflecting the complexity of family relationships born of more than 40 years of European Union membership, opposition lawmakers demanded clarity on what the changes meant for adult children of European Union nationals, who had grown up in Britain but now lived overseas.
“Now her mandate is in tatters, but the prime minister still insists she’s the best person to get a good deal for Britain”, he said to loud cheers from his party.
However, those who wish to bring over family members after the cut-off date will have to meet a tougher set of criteria including a series of income thresholds for those bringing over partners or children.
The report, Deloitte said, is a major warning to the government, which has previously come under pressure to ensure employers do not face a skills shortage following Britain’s exit from the EU.
The obvious answer to this conundrum is to create a joint UK-EU arbitration panel that will ensure that the terms of an agreement are respected under worldwide law.
But spouses moving after Brexit will be subject to the same rules that now apply to non-EU nationals joining British citizens, which require the British citizen to meet a minimum income allowance. “The administrative procedures which they will need to comply with in order to obtain these new rights will be modernised and kept as smooth and simple as possible”.
“The UK’s stance is that the British courts should oversee the system rather than the European Court of Justice, but the EU27 are concerned that without ECJ oversight, future UK governments may try to water down those agreed rights”.