Brexit is in danger of not being approved by the European Parliament if it does not offer more to EU citizens
“damp squib” were the words addressed to U.K.’s proposals on European citizens’ rights, as the European Parliament seeks to receive more benefits for its citizens.
Chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt along with four leaders of the main groups of the parliament wrote a joint letter in which they agreed on the fact that Britain’s plans for the 3 million EU citizens that are expected to remain in the UK after Brexit are far from being enough.
“The proposal falls short of its own ambitions to “put citizens first”. If implemented, it would cast a dark cloud of vagueness and uncertainty over the lives of millions of Europeans,” the letter wrote.
The EU has proposed that Europeans would maintain their current rights and protections that they currently receive under the European law. On the other hand, the British proposal disagrees and says that European’s rights will dramatically be reduced the day after Brexit, including cutting voting rights and income thresholds.
“The British proposal carries a real risk of creating a second class of citizenship,” the group of eight signatories wrote, claiming that the plans backtrack on Brexiteers’ pledge that EU citizens would be treated “no less favorably than at present.”
The leader of the groups account for two thirds of the votes in the parliament, and would disapprove any deal that puts EU citizens’ rights in danger.
“The European Union has a common mission to extend, enhance and expand rights, not to reduce them. We will never endorse the retroactive removal of acquired rights.
“The European Parliament will reserve its right to reject any agreement that treats EU citizens, regardless of their nationality, less favorably than they are at present. For us, this is a question of basic fundamental rights and values, which are at the heart of the European project.”
The deadline for signing the deal is March 2019. Moreover, the European Parliament added that an extension beyond this date would be “unthinkable”.