The negotiations on the financial settlement in particular, though not only, were at a “deadlock,” according to the chief Brexit negotiator for the EU, Michel Barnier. David Davis, the UK secretary of state for Brexit, said on Thursday that “this is not a process of agreeing specific commitments--we have been clear this can only come later.”
“hoped the leaders of the 27 will provide Michel with the means to explore ways forward with us on that, and that “member states will recognise the progress we have made, and take a step forward in the spirit of the Prime Minister’s Florence speech.”
“For us, for example, it is important that any European citizen living in the UK can--in 10 or 15 years’ time--bring his/her parents to the UK, as would be the case for British citizens living in the EU. In the same vain, an EU citizen who has worked for 20 years in the UK should be able to move to an EU member state and still benefit from his/her disability allowance, under the same conditions as British citizens in the EU. Finally, an important point for the member states of the union: the UK has informed us of its intention to put in place a simplified procedure which allows citizens to assert their rights. We will study attentively the practical details of this procedure, which should really be simple for citizens.”
Other issues are the recognition of professional qualifications; to vote in local elections; to move within the 27 as a UK citizen; to leave for a prolonged period and continue to enjoy a right to remain or permanent right of residence on return.
“Loss of permanent residence status after absence for a period exceeding two consecutive years. Under current EU law beneficiaries can come back after an absence of more than two years as family members and regain a right of residence. Member states are not obliged (….) to terminate permanent residence status whenever two years of absence are exceeded. Continuity of residence as per Article 16 (3) for beneficiaries having resided in the host state for less than five years. UK nationals in scope of withdrawal agreement only have protected rights in the state(s) in which they have residence rights on exit day, without prejudice to social security rights. Conditions for return as provided under EU law.”
The UK position has been that:
“The UK considers that the application of the loss of residence after 2 years of absence will be inadequate in some circumstances to protect citizens' rights. The UK considers that the agreement should include agreed provisions that are more generous rather than this being left to the discretion of EU27 and the UK. UK is prepared to offer more generous arrangements for instance based on the concept of ‘strong ties’ (e.g. students abroad for studying, overseas posting). This should also be seen in the context of the offer for a guaranteed right of return for those who have acquired permanent residence status... UK nationals in scope who move within EU27 after the specified date should keep all existing rights; also for cross-‐border activity begun after the specified date. The UK is prepared to offer a guaranteed right of return for those who have acquired permanent residence status. This offer is subject to addressing the question of further free movement of UK nationals across the EU27.”
He added that the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will be enshrined in UK law by the Withdrawal Agreement. While there will be a registration process, he assured that the administration process will be completely new and streamlined.
Davis said that any EU citizen in the UK, who already has a permanent residence card, will be able to exchange it simply for settled status in a simple way. They will not have to go through the full application process again.
On Ireland, there had been little progress as well.