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6/22/17

Brexit: Theresa May promises to let 3 million EU citizens stay in UK - by Joe Watts

British PM Theresa May and EU President Donald Tusk
Theresa May has played her opening gambit of Brexit negotiations, telling European leaders she will offer some three million EU citizens a new ‘settled status’ allowing them to stay in Britain if they have lived here five years.

People gaining it would secure rights on healthcare, education and benefits broadly similar to those enjoyed by EU citizens in the UK now.

But in a move giving Ms May leverage as talks begin, she refused to reveal the exact date after which new arrivals are no longer guaranteed the status - leaving a group of people uncertain of their UK residency.

European Council President Donald Tusk has quoted lyrics from John Lennon's Imagine to suggest the door remains open to the UK staying in the EU.

Ahead of a Brussels summit he said of that prospect: "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

Theresa May, who has said the UK will honour the referendum vote to leave, was due to outline her plans for the issue of expats' rights to EU leaders.

Speaking at the summit she hailed the "constructive" start to Brexit talks.

Read more: Brexit: Theresa May promises to let 3 million EU citizens stay in UK | The Independent

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