Prime Minister Theresa May defended her proposals to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain on Friday (June 23), saying several leaders of the bloc had reacted positively and she wanted agreement as soon as possible.
At a news conference after an EU summit in Brussels, May also said she wanted negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union to continue in the constructive fashion that was struck on Monday when they began.
The night before, May outlined five principles to be discussed in Brexit negotiations, notably that no EU citizen resident in Britain at a cut-off date would be deported. There are roughly 3 million living there now.
Under the plan, EU citizens who had lived in Britain for five years could stay for life. Others would be allowed to stay until they reach the five-year threshold for “settled status”. Red tape for permanent residency would be cut and there would be a two-year grace period to avoid “cliff edge” misfortunes.
May described the offer as ‘fair and serious’ and added it would bring certainty to EU citizens living in Britain and vice-versa.