Theresa May offers EU citizens right to continue living and working in the UK

Theresa MayLeon Neal / GettyTheresa May to offer EU citizens ‘settled status’ in UK.
  • EU citizens to be granted “settled status” in the UK.
  • Those arriving before March 29, 2019, will have “almost equivalent” status to UK citizens.
  • EHIC health insurance card to be retained post-Brexit.
  • May to set out plans to make it easier to deport EU criminals.

LONDON — Theresa May will today spell out her plans to allow EU citizens to continue living in the UK after Brexit.

The prime minister will state that all European citizens living in the UK before the date that Britain leaves will be offered “settled status” to remain living and working here, as long as British citizens living in the EU are granted the same rights.

EU citizens will be offered rights “almost equivalent to British citizens,” the Brexit secretary David Davis told the Andrew Marr show.

Under the plans all European arriving in the UK before March 29, 2019, will:

  • Retain the right to live and work in the UK.
  • Be able to apply for “settled status” in the UK.
  • Retain access to healthcare and pension rights for both EU and UK citizens.
  • Continue to offer British citizens access to the European Health Insurance Card
  • EU citizens will not be able to vote in British elections.
  • EU citizens will face deportation for minor crimes.

The 15-page “positions paper” will spell out government plans to make it easier to deport EU citizens who commit even minor crimes in the UK.

However, it is unclear what these plans will entail given that the UK is already able to deport EU criminals from the UK. In her speech to party conference last year, Home Secretary Amber Rudd also said that it was not necessary to wait for Brexit before increasing deportations of EU criminals.

Any change in policy would also have to conform with the Human Rights Act which states that the UK must consider foreign criminals’ length of residence, age and family life before deporting them.

May had planned to scrap the HRA but dropped her plans earlier this year.

The UK’s negotiation plans on EU citizens will be published on Monday afternoon.

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