The European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, has warned that the UK proposal to give EU citizens in the country “settled status” after Brexit is not what the European Union needs.
In a debate organised by the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) criticised the UK government for not ending the uncertainty created for EU citizens living in the UK since last year’s referendum.
According to a European Parliament press release, Verhofstadt stressed that the proposal risks downgrading the rights of EU citizens and creating a lot of administrative burden.
“Citizens cannot be the victims of this whole operation. Our proposal to the Commission at the start of political negotiations is to try to uphold the rights of EU citizens in the UK, while not removing rights from UK citizens on the continent. The European Union was not created to lower the standards for people,” he said.
Verhofstadt also called for more clarity on how to resolve the financial settlement between the UK and the EU, and elaborated on the concerns regarding the UK-Irish border question and future EU-UK cooperation within the field of nuclear activities (Euratom).