Official speeches and statements - March 14, 2018
European Union – Brexit – Reply by Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to a question for the government (Paris, March 14, 2018)
The situation of European citizens in the UK, particularly the 300,000 French people, has been high on our priorities since the negotiation on Brexit began.
In December, we got the UK’s assurance that European citizens living there would go on being able to live, work and study there after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal, under the same conditions as at present. Their professional qualifications will continue to be recognized. They will have access to healthcare, pensions and social security benefits.
Their loved ones’ rights will be guaranteed. The principle you’re calling for is clearly that of reciprocity between the rights of Europeans in the UK and the rights of British people in France.
Today the [European] Commission is trying to secure further guarantees for European nationals living in the UK, for example in the event of difficulties in applying for resident status.
We’re also asking for European citizens who settle in the UK during the transition period to enjoy the same rights as those living there prior to 30 March 2019.
We regularly remind our British contacts how important the issue of our nationals’ status is. But as I had the opportunity to tell the Brexit fact-finding mission, the European Council decided that the European Union would have only one negotiator, Michel Barnier, in whom we have every confidence and who is very much aware of the issue concerning our nationals.
By negotiating as 27, the balance of power will be most in our favour. Rest assured that the government will continue to monitor the situation of our nationals closely and that we’ll take the most appropriate action according to how the situation develops./.