European Council president Donald Tusk says Theresa May's EU citizens offer in Brexit talks is "below our expectations"

 
Rebecca Smith
Tusk is not satisfied with Theresa May's latest offer
Tusk is not satisfied with Theresa May's latest offer (Source: Getty)

Theresa May's pledge to European Union nationals has left senior European officials unimpressed.

European Council president Donald Tusk was underwhelmed by Theresa May's pledge to EU nationals living in the UK, saying the proposal was "below our expectations" and risked making the situation worse. Meanwhile, EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the plan was "not sufficient".

Read more: Pound sticks above $1.27 after Theresa May promises rights to EU citizens

Last night, on the eve of the Brexit referendum anniversary, the Prime Minister pledged that three million EU citizens currently living in the UK will be given the right to remain in the country after Brexit. She told EU leaders that reaching a reciprocal deal for UK nationals living in Europe as quickly as possible was vital.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels today, Tusk said the EU wanted to secure the "full rights" of all its citizens and British expats on the continent.

"Citizens' rights are the number one priority for the EU27 and we have made our position clear," he said.

We want to ensure the full rights for EU and UK citizens after Brexit. My first impression is that the UK offer is below our expectations and that it risks worsening the situation of citizens, but it will be for our negotiating team to analyse the offer line by line.

In May's plans, EU nationals living in the UK for five years will be granted settled status, with access to benefits under UK plans.

That status would provide EU citizens with the right to stay after the UK's exit in March 2019, and receive the same rights to welfare and education as UK citizens.

At a press conference in Brussels this afternoon, the PM said the UK's position represented "a fair and serious offer", to provide as much certainty as possible to citizens settled in the UK.

May said that on Monday she will publish her proposals in full "and look forward to reaching an agreement at the earliest possible date".

Read more: Theresa May: EU citizens to be given the right to remain in the UK

Related articles