12 December 2016
EU nationals ‘should be offered permanent residency’
European Union (EU) nationals based in the UK should be given the chance to live here permanently, even before the outcome of the Brexit talks is known, experts have suggested.
The vote to leave the EU on June 23 has created uncertainty among businesses and individuals about the fate of EU nationals currently living here.
With Article 50 yet to be triggered, Prime Minister Theresa May has not yet confirmed the status of the nearly three million Europeans based in the country. It is thought their future will only be confirmed once the rights of British expats living on the continent are guaranteed.
Commenting on the situation, think-tank British Future believes Mrs May should "make the first move" in order to demonstrate "goodwill" ahead of the formal EU departure talks.
The group suggests the 2.8 million EU nationals based in the UK should be given permanent residence with the same health, social and education rights as British citizens.
Gisela Stuart, who chaired the think-tank's inquiry, said: "Our inquiry found that people from different sides of the referendum and politics can quite easily agree on practical, straightforward ways to ensure that EU nationals can stay in Britain with their rights protected. That's the right thing to do and something that most voters agree with too."