Theresa May told European leaders last night. The Prime Minister made a “fair and serious offer” to European leaders in Brussels as she pledged that all those who arrived in Britain before she triggered Article 50 in March will be entitled to stay.
May also said that she did not want to “break up families” in a clear indication that the spouses and children of EU nationals who live abroad will be eligible to join them in the UK. However she said it is “vital” that any deal will have to be “reciprocal” and based on the European Union granting the one million British citizens who live in the Europe the same rights. She also refused to meet EU demands that the “cut-off date”, after which EU citizens will no longer automatically be entitled to stay in the UK, should fall on the day that Britain leaves the European Union.
She instead said that it will be a matter for negotiation and could fall at any point between March 29 2017, the date that Article 50 was triggered, and the date that Britain leaves the European Union, which is expected to be in March 2019.
All those arriving after the “cut-off date” will be given a two year “grace period” after Britain Brexit and will be subsequently expected to obtain a work permit or return to their home countries. If the cut-off date falls in 2019, as the EU demands, it effectively means that freedom of movement will continue until 2021.
Mrs May also set up a further clash with the European Union by rejecting demands that the European Court of Justice should continue to oversee the rights of EU migrants after Brexit. She said: “The commitment that we make to EU citizens will be enshrined in EU law and enforced through our highly-respected