The European Parliament's Brexit point man said today that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK will be the first issue dealt with during negotiations.
Guy Verhofstadt said citizens' rights should be "point one" in the negotiations in order to ensure that millions of people no longer "continue to live in uncertainty". He made the remarks while delivering a Brexit update to the parliament in Brussels today.
Verhostadt said the uncertainty around the future for EU citizens was "destroying lives".
The European Parliament appointed Verhofstadt to lead Brexit discussions in September last year.
The former Belgian prime minister was fiercely opposed to Brexit, and earlier this year said he plans to persuade other European leaders that Britons should be allowed to apply for rights such as freedom of movement on an individual basis after Brexit.
On Monday, Verhofstadt appeared to goad Theresa May via Twitter, tweeting that a Brexit deal will require a "strong and stable understanding of the complex issues involved" - a play on the Prime Minister's phrase of the moment.
Any #Brexit deal requires a strong & stable understanding of the complex issues involved.The clock is ticking - it's time to get real.— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) May 1, 2017