The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani says he and British Prime Minister Theresa May agree that the rights of EU nationals living in the U.K. need to be secured as quickly as possible in Brexit negotiations.
Tajani met May at 10 Downing St. on Thursday to discuss EU lawmakers’ goals for the talks, which are due to start after Britain’s June 8 election. The European Parliament will have to approve any deal agreed between Britain and the 27-member EU.
Stressing that there should be no diminution of citizens’ rights after Brexit potentially sets a high bar for any reciprocal deal since May is also determined to limit freedom of movement rules enshrined in EU law.
But Tajani described the protection of rights for EU citizens settled in the UK and Britons living in rest of Europe as a “red line” in negotiations.
He said the meeting had been “a good beginning. Now we need to go for implementation.’’
May’s office said she and Tajani agreed “on the importance of giving early certainty about the status of British citizens living elsewhere in the EU and citizens of other member states in the U.K.’’
Tajani also met with NGOs whose main concerns are guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
The European Parliament’s final approval will be needed on any potential Brexit agreement.