‘Reciprocal rights’ deal for Brits & EU citizens could be close

Amidst the gloom of the Autumn Statement, there is some potentially good news. The Independent reports that the government is close to agreeing a ‘reciprocal rights’ deal with EU member states. This would give EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in another EU country the same rights. Exactly what those rights would entail is not yet known but it’s likely to provide comfort to both British and EU immigrants who feared that they would have to leave the country they made home or get the relevant permits to stay. It should also provide some long-overdue reassurance to EU immigrants living in the UK that they are welcome here.

However, a government source told the Telegraph that no deals have been struck yet.

We hope and expect to guarantee the reciprocal rights of EU and British citizens, but this is premature and wrong. No deals have been struck, formal or informal”

In a speech at the CBI conference on Monday, Theresa May had said that she wanted an early agreement on the status of EU nationals. So hopefully, we’ll know more sooner rather than later.

Brits in the EU and EU nationals in the UK

UN estimates from 2015 reveal that there are around 1.2 million Brits living in another EU country with the majority in Spain, Ireland, France and Germany. It also estimates that there are 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK. It’s not clear from these estimates, however, whether the figures include those who may have a home in the UK and in another country. You can find out more on these stats at Migration Watch.

Image: Brits in Spain
© Caron Badkin /

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