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May unveils offer on EU citizens

June 22, 2017 5:28 pm

EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years could get equal rights to UK nationals for good, under proposals unveiled by PM Theresa May.

A new “settled EU” immigration status would grant them rights to stay in the UK and access health, education and other benefits after Brexit.

But Theresa May said proposals would be adopted only if the same rights were granted to UK citizens in EU states.

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The plans were put forward at a European Council summit in Brussels.

Those arriving after the cut-off date but before the date of Brexit in March 2019 would have a “grace period” – expected to be two years – to regularise their immigration status, with a view to later seeking settled status.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Theresa May had told EU leaders that the UK did not want any current resident to have to leave, nor to split families up.

She said the deal would provide certainty to three million people who have “built families, lives and careers and contributed so much to our society”.

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