Prime Minister Theresa May has been warned that her current offer on EU worker’s rights regarding UK immigration and UK work permits following Brexit could lead to the creation of “second-class citizenship”.
The warning comes as European Parliament’s lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt rejected the Prime Minister’s proposals on EU citizen rights after labelling it a “damp squid”.
Mr Verhofstadt suggested that the offer could cast a “dark cloud” over people who were seeking UK immigration or a UK visa, and in response published an article with a cross-party group of senior MPs that suggested any Brexit deal that didn’t meet their demands would not go ahead.
The letter stated that the European Parliament will “reserve its right” to reject any deal suggested by Theresa May that treats the block’s citizens less favourably than they are currently treated by Britain.
"This is a question of the basic fundamental rights and values that are at the heart of the European project,” he said.
The letter followed May’s proposals in June that suggested EU nationals resident in the UK could apply for “settled status”, which would allow them indefinite leave to remain in the UK once Britain leaves the EU.
According to May, any EU citizen who has lived in Britain for the past five years can apply for the status, with those who have lived here less than five years allowed to remain on the understanding that they apply for “settled status” once the five years have been completed.