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Britain, EU clash over Brexit proposals on citizens' rights

24 Juin 2017

There is no mention of a continuing ability to be joined in the United Kingdom by non-EU family members and Theresa May has made it clear that any post-Brexit disputes over EU citizens' rights would be resolved through the United Kingdom courts rather than the European Court of Justice.

Extending sanctions against Russian Federation, commitment to Paris Climate Change Agreement and moving EU agencies based in London following Brexit were among the significant issues taken up by the Council, President Donald Tusk said in a joint news conference with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU term president Malta's prime minister, Joseph Muscat.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the plan a "good start", but Labour said it was "too little, too late".

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel found it "particularly vague" and described it using a Flemish expression for a dubious gift: "We don't want a cat in the bag".

"It's a first step, but this step is not sufficient", European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters.

"The government must now listen to the will of the people by putting aside ideology and negotiating a sensible Brexit that ensures continuing United Kingdom membership of the Single Market", Khan said in a statement.

This latest political intervention from the former chancellor will come as an unwelcome development for the PM, who is in Brussels to sell her offer on European Union citizens' rights - proposals she says are "fair and generous".

In particular, the EU 27 want their citizens to be able to enforce their rights in Britain through the European Court of Justice, something May has ruled out.

May repeatedly said during the election campaign that "no deal is better than a bad deal", though she has been less forthright since the election result. She will outline a more detailed proposal next Monday, when May addresses her parliament in London.

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On June 23 previous year, Britons voted by the narrow majority of 52-48 to end the unhappy cross-Channel marriage of four decades.

The European Parliament's top Brexit official says that the proposals on the rights of EU citizens in Britain once the nation leaves the EU are insufficient. Days before the summit, authorities thwarted a terrorist attack on the central train station in Belgium's capital city, highlighting once again the ongoing threat of what EU Council President Tusk called "home-grown radicalization".

Citizens' rights is a major issue in the negotiations, which are expected to last until early 2019.

I welcome her opening offer to secure the rights of Britons living overseas and European Union nationals in Britain after Brexit, which I hope will also provide reassurance and clarity for European Union citizens who have made our constituency their home.

May said the UK wanted to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the rights of UK expats in other European countries.

Although the leaders' statement did not detail the size of the defense fund, the European Commission has said it would put forward at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.69 billion) a year from the bloc's budget for the research and purchase of assets.

The historic talks on how the United Kingdom and the European Union will go separate ways in 2019 kicked off on Monday (19 June) with the two sides agreeing on a timetable, structure and priorities.

Merkel said she would not allow the issue to derail progress in other vital areas.

May has been forced to take a softer stance on Brexit since failing to secure an absolute majority in the June 8 election.