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Pro-European protestors outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, as a vote is held against Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal.
Pro-European protestors outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, as a vote is held against Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

UK Brexit Department: EU citizens 'welcome to stay' in UK if there is no deal

“We have been clear: EU citizens are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, and we want them to stay.”
Dec 6th 2018, 2:17 PM 8,883 13

A FEW DAYS out from a crucial Westminster vote on whether to adopt Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, the British Department for Exiting the EU has assured EU citizens that they can remain in the UK if there’s no deal.

The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has increased as a large number of Theresa May’s own party have indicated that they will vote against her deal on Tuesday next week.

If this happens, it’s not certain what the next step is: Brexiteers have indicated that they could renegotiate another Brexit deal with the EU – but the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, as well as May herself, have repeated that this is the only deal on offer.

To add to the confusion, a top advisor to the European Court of Justice has said that the UK would have the power to unilaterally revoke Article 50 and reverse Brexit – that means they wouldn’t need the consent of the other EU 27 member states. If this were to happen, the UK would most likely have to pay for the cost of two years of negotiations.

In a report published today on EU citizens rights, the Department for Exiting the European Union (or DExEU), wished to reassure citizens:

“To remove any ambiguity about their future, the UK Government wants to reassure EU citizens and their family members living in the UK that they are welcome to stay in the UK in the unlikely event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The Government is adopting an approach based on the Withdrawal Agreement. We have been clear: EU citizens are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, and we want them to stay.

It said that this needed to be supported equally by the EU, who has also pledged to support EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in EU member states.

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Gráinne Ní Aodha

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