EP Brexit Steering Group and MEPs from five committees in charge of citizens’ rights heard representatives of the 3 million group and UK Home Office officials on Tuesday.
The purpose of the meeting was to look into the British procedure for registering EU citizens living in the UK. EU and UK citizens’ rights remain a key priority in ongoing Brexit negotiations.
Following a presentation of UK’s online application system for EU citizens by Home Office officials, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, issued a statement on behalf of the Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group:
“Further to my invitation to Amber Rudd, MEPs today heard from representatives of the UK Home Office about their plans to register over 3 million EU citizens living in the UK. After hearing from representatives of the 3 million group, MEPs raised a number of concerns and asked many questions about the proposed online app which is being developed by UK authorities, as well as the procedure more generally. The European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group will collate any concerns or suggestions raised by MEPs and I will be writing to Amber Rudd detailing any recommendations.”
“It remains a priority for the European Parliament to ensure that citizens, whether UK citizens in the EU or EU citizens in the UK, can continue to lead their lives as they do now, which was also the promise made by those campaigning for Brexit. The treatment of the Windrush generation under UK Immigration law has unfortunately created renewed anxiety among EU citizens in the UK and shows why we have to get this right. The European Parliament will closely scrutinise developments and work to ensure sufficient guarantees are in place to avoid the repetition of such a situation for EU citizens.”
The committees involved in the talks are those dealing with constitutional affairs, civil liberties, employment and social affairs, legal affairs and petitions.
In March, the Plenary adopted a resolution laying out a possible association framework for future EU-UK relations after Brexit. On the withdrawal, it reiterated the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU. Any withdrawal agreement and future association or international agreement with the UK will need to win the approval of the European Parliament.