EU migrants to stay on in Britain under ‘no deal’ Brexit, leaked papers reveal
The papers suggest the UK will “take the moral high ground” and guarantee EU citizens’ rights
Union Jack and EU flag - Image credit: Press Association
EU migrants will be given the right to stay on in Britain in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, according to leaked Cabinet papers.
The documents – seen by the Telegraph – set out plans to allow European workers to retain their current status, amid concerns over staffing shortages.
They state that the UK will “take the moral high ground” over the issue and will guarantee EU citizens’ rights regardless of whether Brits living on the continent are granted the equivalent status by the EU.
The move would see Europeans maintain their current access to NHS services and benefits.
The plans are part of series of ‘no deal’ technical papers, which set out the way forward if no Brexit agreement with Brussels is reached.
Leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomed the guarantees for EU migrants, saying: “I have always thought we should make a unilateral offer in this area.
“EU migrants came here legally and the UK is not the sort of country that applies retrospective legislation.
“They should have broadly the same rights as British citizens — no better or worse.”
However, former Brexit minister David Jones said: “It’s got to be reciprocal.
“We have a large number of Britons in the EU and their interests have got to be reflected. We have got to look after our own people.”
If MPs back the deal next week, the UK will have a further delay until 22 May
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The Commons voted 391 to 242 against the re-worked withdrawal agreement, despite warnings that doing so could put Brexit at risk