Brexit ‘progress’ but still doubts for some rights

Michel Barnier, EU chief negotiator

"Sufficient" progress having been made in phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations to allow talks to move on to phase 2 – which includes trade – brings mixed messages for Britons in the EU.

Many rights covering pensions and healthcare are now agreed and protected, barring un­foreseen difficulties with concluding the overall deal – and are set out in a joint UK/EU report on phase 1.

However the rights have not been  ring-fenced and the principle that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ remains.

Some campaigners are also concerned that certain other rights issues may now be shelved as talks move on. These include ‘onward’ free movement in the EU, allowing, for example, a Briton living in France to later move to Spain with the same protections.

Also, due to UK demands for EU expats living in the UK to have to apply for a right of residence, proved with a card – rather than it being automatically given – EU countries will now be able to demand the same of Britons living there. It will ...

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