In a 15-page document which is due to be published later today, Theresa May is expected to outline plans to offer EU nationals the right to remain in the UK beyond Brexit, when the UK will officially cease to be an EU member.
Theresa May is likely to offer some details when she updates MPs about the summit in the House of Commons at 2:30pm today.
Both the UK and the EU have stated that they want an early agreement on this issue. With 3.2 million EU nationals currently living in the UK, and 1.2 million British expats living in the EU, giving certainty to these people is one of the many key factors being discussed during Brexit negotiations. Any news has the potential to affect exchange rates, along with the spending power of millions of expats living in the EU and the UK.
It is expected that those who have lawfully lived in the UK for a minimum of five years will be able to stay and should expect similar benefits to those they have now. This “settled status” was previously discussed by Theresa May and offers equal access to healthcare, education, welfare and pensions.
Iain Duncan Smith commented on the plans:
“What she’s put on the table I think is wholly reasonable and actually reasonably generous. If you’ve been here, if you’ve been resident for five years, you will be treated like a British citizen you will have all the same rights and privileges.”
Under the same plans those that have not lived in the UK for five years prior to the official separation from the EU would be allowed to stay and reach the five years, in order to gain access to the same benefits.
These proposals are intended to be contingent on British citizens living in the EU being offered equivalent rights.