The EU's Brexit demands have been blasted as 'absurd'
In an unusually scathing statement Migration Watch branded the bloc’s negotiating position unrealistic and amounted to an effective continuation of freedom of movement and asked: “Where does it end?”
The respected think tank said an agreement based on Brussels’ current demands would be a “wide open door” for mass migration to continue to the UK for decades to come.
Earlier today Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission published its most detailed yet proposals on how it wants to see EU citizens see protected during the Brexit negotiations.
Eurocrats are demanding that current rights, including access to benefits, are kept for a huge number of people, some with dubious connections to the UK.
The British Government has already said it wants to guarantee the rights of all three million EU citizens currently based in Britain to end any uncertainty over their futures.
But under the EU’s guidelines that deal would also have to cover EU citizens who have worked here in the UK in the past, ludicrously even if they commuted and never actually lived here.
Migration Watch chairman Lord Green of Deddington ripped into the proposals
On top of that, Brussels is insisting that there can be no “cut off” date ahead of Brexit meaning that people who arrived the day before Britain leaves would be allowed to stay indefinitely.
And they would be allowed to bring “current and future family members” to live with them at any time, which could include grandchildren not even born yet.
All of these citizens would have their rights supervised by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ), meaning Britain may end up never being truly free of EU lawmakers.
In a blistering statement Migration Watch, which is usually reserved in its comments, said the list of demands was “a wide open door for abuse” and would lead to a “last minute rush” for the UK border.
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At points these demands verge on the absurd
Migration Watch chairman Lord Green of Deddington
Chairman Lord Green of Deddington said: “These proposals are not just aggressive, they include everything except the kitchen sink. Indeed, at points they verge on the absurd.
“Furthermore, the Commission are insisting on full powers of monitoring as well as full jurisdiction for the European Court of Justice which, as they know, would be unacceptable to the British people.”
In their guidelines eurocrats call for “equal treatment” of EU citizens after Brexit and point out that any agreement will be reciprocated by member states hosting British expats.
But it is the sheer number of people they want any deal to cover that is likely to prove a sticking point, with Migration Watch predicting it would encompass five million people already not accounting for future movements.
Brussels’ demands on the jurisdiction of the ECJ will also go down badly in Downing Street, with Theresa May having previously said leaving the court is a Brexit red line.
May meets Juncker and Barnier at Number 10 Wed, April 26, 2017
Theresa May hosted European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chief negotiator Michel Barnier at Downing Street for the first face-to-face talks since she triggered the two-year process of withdrawing from the EU
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Prime Minister Theresa May greets European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of a working dinner at 10 Downing Street, London
The guidelines state: “EU27 citizens or UK nationals who resided legally respectively in the UK or EU27 at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement should be considered legally resident even if they do not hold a residence document evidencing that right.
“The Commission should have full powers for the monitoring and the Court of Justice of the European Union should have full jurisdiction corresponding to the duration of the protection of citizen's rights in the Withdrawal agreement.”
Citizens rights are crucial because Brussels is insisting that there must be “sufficient progress” on a deal before the divorce talks can move onto the second phase about trade.
Mrs May attempted to strike an informal agreement with EU leaders on the issue last summer to allay people’s fears, but it was blocked by Angela Merkel who feared it would undermine the bloc’s negotiating position.