U.K.’s May Calls for EU to Guarantee British Citizens’ Rights

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the European Union must guarantee the rights of U.K. citizens living in Europe if progress is to be made toward a Brexit deal.

Theresa May on Sept. 29.

Photographer: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

“I value the contribution that EU citizens have made in the United Kingdom but I also want to see the citizens from the U.K. who are living in other European Union countries have their rights guaranteed as well,” May told reporters on Friday on the way into a summit in Tallinn, Estonia. “The negotiations are about ensuring we can give certainty and reassurance to EU citizens in the U.K. and U.K. citizens in the other member states.”

May was speaking a day after the latest round of Brexit negotiations concluded in Brussels where both sides said progress had been made on the issue of residency rights for citizens abroad. That’s one of the three topics that must see “sufficient progress” before trade talks can start.

In a rare joint statement on Thursday after the talks, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress accused May of playing “human poker” with the U.K. and EU citizens living in each other’s jurisdictions.

“I value their contribution; I want them to stay,” May said. “That has been part of the negotiations where very good progress has been made.”

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