- Alberto Costa has urged the UK to seek out a deal with the EU for citizens’ rights
- Millions of UK citizens live in EU countries
- The transition of a new prime minister will leave little time for a proper deal, he says
While most of the UK political world is enamored with the ongoing race for Prime Ministership, negotiations are still going on regarding Brexit. Over the last few months, several aspects of an exit deal have been discussed and several issues such as the Irish border but few aspects of an exit deal are quite as pressing as citizens’ rights.
This is because 1.3 million UK citizens live in one of the 27 EU member states while the UK itself is home to 3.2 million EU citizens and whatever is decided as a result of Brexit could affect the rights of both sets of people within the various countries. It has been reported on June 18, 2019, that the UK seeking an agreement with the EU with regards to citizens rights.
The Rights of a Citizen
The previously rejected Brexit deals have sought to protect the rights of EU and UK citizens despite Brexit and the EU itself has stated that the best way to safeguard citizens rights would be to agree to a withdrawal agreement.
Alberto Costa, a Tory MP, put forward a motion to call for the Prime Minister to write to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk in order to receive a guarantee of the rights of EU Nationals regardless of what happens with Brexit. The proposition went to parliament and was backed by 141 MPs and was accepted by the government without a vote.
“The UK government has finally taken seriously the Costa amendment and with the specter of no deal appearing ever closer, the UK government are worried about how to protect the rights of British citizens in the EU,” he said.
He has also emphasized that it is important to find some sort of separate deal on citizens rights given that a new Prime Minister will be brought into the office very soon and there will be little time to negotiate a proper deal while still managing a transition of power. He has called on all that are in the race for prime ministership to commit to changing such a law should they win the seat.
The reason this matter is so pressing is because of the millions of people involved whose residential status and rights might be left in limbo without a proper deal on the table which is something that Costa has emphasized.
“Failure will result in a total loss of rights for British nationals in the EU, confusion over pensions and welfare access, and undoubtedly a tsunami of litigation against the failure of the UK govt to protect their rights,” he warned.