Full details of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals to safeguard the rights of millions of European expats are expected within a few days.
May is briefing EU leaders and hoping to gain their support at a summit in Brussels.
Both Britain and the EU have indicated they want a swift resolution of the issue that is injecting uncertainty into the lives of millions.
Around 3 million EU expats live in the UK and just over a million British expats are scattered across the EU, mainly in France, Spain and Eire.
No decision has been offered about their rights to carry on living and working in their new homes, leaving them concerned about their homes, money and jobs.
More talk but no resolution
Other issues run deeper – like access to healthcare, payment of benefits and the right to own a home.
Opposition parties in the UK have lobbied for a unilateral statement concerning EU expats from May, but she has resisted the calls and is holding out for a reciprocal agreement with Brussels that also protects the rights of Brits in Europe.
Downing Street has refused to reveal the details of her briefing notes, but did say her plans would be published on Monday (June 26).
The summit will listen to her presentation and then discuss a response behind closed doors without any British representatives in the room.
No debate or decision is anticipated, just a laying down of principles for future negotiations.
Overall, May has yet to present any thought-through policy on the rights of expats and at worst, her proposals are likely to be based on her fuzzy ‘Brexit means Brexit’ mantra that has yet to provide any coherent way forward.
Other issues under discussion without Britain include EU leaders carving up the prize of EU institutions based in London after Brexit.
The main two are the EU clearing system for banks that handles transactions worth almost a trillion euros every year and the bloc’s official medicine governing body.
Expect France and Germany to lay claim to the relocations – with an outside chance for the Netherlands and Belgium.