Second phase of Brexit talks to begin in London this week

Second phase of Brexit talks to begin in London this week

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis will host his European counterpart Michel Barnier in London today before the resumption of Brexit talks tomorrow. The rights of EU citizens in the UK is among the issues to be discussed. In December, both sides agreed to respect the rights of EU citizens regarding full residency rights in the

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Photo: AFP

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis will host his European counterpart Michel Barnier in London today before the resumption of Brexit talks tomorrow. The rights of EU citizens in the UK is among the issues to be discussed.

In December, both sides agreed to respect the rights of EU citizens regarding full residency rights in the UK and vice versa for British citizens residing in the EU. However, PM Theresa May recently excluded these rights for EU citizens who arrive during the two-year transition period during which businesses and governments are to implement the Brexit agreement after Britain’s official departure in March 2019. This attempt of Mrs May to heal a rift between hard and soft Brexiteers in her own government has sparked pushback from Brussels.

Today, negotiators will press for a transition agreement to be confirmed by the EU Council summit in March in a bid to provide certainty to businesses and investors. With a deadline looming, the pressure is on for both sides to devise workable solutions to key issues such as EU citizenship rights. Expect a deal by March but do not discount further delays if negotiators cannot agree on new EU citizen rights of residence in the UK during the transition period.

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