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