04 July 2016

I Called This

A few days ago, I made a comment on a Facebook post in response to the an assertion that the British have no leverage in negotiating the Brexit.

I noted that Britain is by far the most EU migrants of any nation in the organization, and that they could use that as leverage in negotiations.

FWIW, the numbers are pretty stark: 1.2 million Britons living in other EU countries versus 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK.

I would also argue that a larger proportion of the British expats are pensioners than the EU expats, because people don't tend to move to England to retire, they move to England to work.

In any case, the Conservative Party has announced that any decision on the status of EU citizens living in the UK would be the product of the negotiating process:
British immigration minister James Brokenshire told the House of Commons Monday that the government cannot make any promises about the future of EU citizens in the U.K.

It would be “unwise” to tell them they can stay before the U.K. has negotiated with other EU countries about the rights of British nationals living elsewhere in Europe.

Brokenshire added that if the government made a promise now, that could trigger more migrants to come to the EU.

He also said that “EU nationals continue to be welcome here in the meantime.”

“EU nationals can have our full reassurance that their right to enter, work and study in the U.K. remains unchanged.”


The debate came after Home Secretary Theresa May, who is in the race to become the next Conservative party leader, on Sunday said that the position of EU nationals remains unclear.
The irony here is that May is an opponent of Brexit, while her opponents for party leader, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, are both saying that expelling EU nationals in the UK should not be on the table.

Needless to say, the status of EU nationals in the UK has to be on the table, particularly if Article 50 is invokes, as Brussels has no reason to negotiate in good faith otherwise, and every reason to allow the clock to run out, so as to punish the UK for leaving.


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