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London.—British Prime Minister Theresa May said last night that noone had produced an alternative to her Brexit plan, and that all options involved a backstop arrangement that has been criticised by many in her own party.
“Nobody has produced any alternative proposal,” May told reporters at a news conference, adding that repudiating a backstop altogether would kill any chance of a deal with the European Union.
“If we do not move forward with that agreement, nobody can know for sure the consequences that will follow. It would be to take a path of deep and grave uncertainty, when the British people just want us to get on with it,” May said London.—Rights groups representing expatriates in the European Union and Britain warned yesterday the draft Brexit deal did not ensure that the more than four million people concerned would be able to go on living their lives as now.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was battling last night to save the dayold deal, and her own job, as the “the3 million” and “British in Europe” groups said that crucial aspects of citizens’ rights after Brexit had not been secured.
Nicholas Hatton, chairman of the 3 million group that speaks for EU citizens living in the United Kingdom, said he felt “betrayed by the Brexit negotiators”.
EU citizens currently living in Britain may have to apply and pay to have their residency confirmed, and risk losing the status if they live somewhere else for more than five years. For Britons living in the EU, the draft deal on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU released on Wednesday envisages the right to claim lifetime residence in the particular EU state in which they now live, but with no freedom to then move to another EU state, as they can now. “It is unacceptable and upsetting that free movement – a lifeline for many of us - has been excluded when both sides knew it was critical for us,” Jane Golding, co-chair of British in Europe, said in a statement.
The European Parliament, which like the British House of Commons must ratify the Brexit deal for it to take effect, has signalled it was on board.
“I think that what is delivered... is the best agreement we could obtain,” Guy Verhofstadt, head of the EU parliament’s Brexit steering group, said yesterday.