Germany is believed to be the only EU member state that has so far failed to commit to an agreement on the rights of migrants before Theresa May triggers Article 50 next month, after Spain backed an early agreement.
The Prime Minister has on numerous occasions tried to secure a deal with the 27 other EU nations to protect the rights of British expats, with Spain yesterday backing an early agreement during talks at an EU summit in Malta.
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But hopes of a possible agreement with Germany were postponed yesterday after a scheduled meeting between Mrs May and the German chancellor were called off at short notice.
Downing Street has since insisted the cancellation was not a snub towards the Prime Minister, and said the leaders had spoken about the issue during an informal meeting.
Mrs May’s deal with the Spanish prime minister is significant because the country is home to the largest number of Britons living in the EU.
The two leaders have yet to secure an agreement guaranteeing the rights of British expats in the EU.
A source told the Telegraph: “They discussed the issue of reciprocal rights, and agreed it would be good to get agreement on this issue early on in the negotiations.”
The Government’s Brexit White Paper stated there are around a million British nationals who live in other EU nations.
The document suggested a small number of EU members had blocked Mrs May’s plans to resolve the status of expats before formal Brexit negotiations.
A scheduled talk between the two leaders at the EU summit in Malta was cancelled on short notice.
But it is now believed Germany is the only barricade to ensuring a guarantee for Britons in every EU country.
The Paper said: “Securing the status of, and providing certainty to, EU nationals already in the UK and UK nationals already in the EU is one of this Government’s early priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.
“The Government would have liked to resolve this issue although many EU member states favour such an agreement, this has not proven possible.”
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Protest on the sidelines of Angela Merkel's official visit in Brussels
It added: “The UK remains ready to give people the certainty they want and reach a reciprocal deal with our European partners at the earliest opportunity.
“It is the fair and right thing to do.”
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