Americans (and other non-EU-nationals) living in Spain are doing so under different EU regulations than Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Ambassadors from larger EU states have started to review whether the UK will reverse its Brexit decision in light of the election result, despite many concluding no foreseeable political scenario exists for abandoning it.
Splits in Theresa May’s cabinet have emerged this week as senior figures set out alternative timetables for Brexit while the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggested the UK might realise at some point it “made a mistake”.
But the diplomats say senior UK civil servants have given no sign to them of an imminent change to May’s red lines on leaving the single market, the custom’s union and the jurisdiction of the European court of justice. They are expressing private impatience at the inability of the British government to set out a more detailed plan for Brexit more than a year after the referendum.
“It is is very inconvenient in my job that I cannot tell my capital what kind Brexit either of the main parties wishes to pursue. There is no clear information, just information on what politicians will not accept,” said one ambassador.
The chancellor, Philip Hammond, said this week in Berlin that the UK would not seek to remain members of the EU single market or the customs union but also called for early discussions on a lengthy transition period. He said the UK might want to negotiate a deal that was equivalent to being in the single market or the customs union without taking that legal form.
One ambassador at the heart of the talks said there was no guarantee the EU would even accept a transition, referring to a statement by the European council president, Donald Tusk, that there were only two options open to Britain: hard Brexit or continued EU membership.
The UK Treasury is desperate to reduce the levels of uncertainty about a future relationship, but this, EU diplomats say, is one of their strongest negotiating hands and talks on a possible transition may not begin until next year.
An EU-based diplomat said the onus remained on the UK to come up with a plan. He cited a recent speech by the former UK ambassador to the EU Lord Kerr, who said: “It is odd, if we want a deep and special relationship with the EU, not to have proposed one. A year after the referendum, we have still put forward no plan, suggestion, outline or proposal for how one might in future organise cooperation”.
The ambassadors do recognise, however, that softer Brexit solutions are likely to come back under discussion in coming months as the UK government’s apparent willingness before the general election to leave without a deal had faded. These options include membership of the European Economic Area, potentially on a temporary basis to maintain full single market access, joining the European Free Trade Association as a shortcut to replacing free trade deals negotiated by the EU and a customs union agreement with Brussels.
A third ambassador from a country close to the UK said he believed Whitehall departments were still coming to terms with the scale of the administrative tasks facing civil servants once outside the EU.
“The tragedy is that the issue that set all this off may be solved by the time the UK comes to Brexit,” he said. “There is a good chance the UK economy is heading for a quite nasty downturn due to its reliance on financial services, just as the EU is on an upturn, so the Poles that came to the UK will either stay at home or be going to elsewhere like Germany, and the numbers of migrants coming to the UK will be below 100,000.”
The EU is a rules-based institution, and EU membership is attractive for smaller countries, like Ireland, precisely because it is a rules-based institution, rather than one based on the exercise of raw power.
A country that has left the EU, and is no longer willing to submit to its common rules and to the jurisdiction of the court that interprets those rules, cannot expect to retain the main benefits of membership. That would undermine the EU’s essential nature.
Six out of 10 Britons want to keep their European Union citizenship after Brexit – including the rights to live, work, study and travel in the EU – and many would be prepared to pay large sums to do so, according to research led by the London School of Economics.
Support for retaining the rights is particularly strong among 18- to 24-year-olds, 85% of whom want to retain their EU citizenship in addition to their British citizenship. Around 80% of people living in London also want to maintain the same rights.
In a speech to the LSE this week, the director-general of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, will paint a grim picture of the impact that Theresa May’s plan to leave both the single market and customs union will have on the UK economy.
“In the last 40 years, EU integration has cut through complexity, making things simpler for business,” she will say. “The single market means one single set of rules for the whole EU – saving Europe’s 22 million firms time and money, while the customs union lowers even more barriers to trade.
“Even for something as everyday as a loaf of bread, EU rules cut through the complexity – and make things simpler for business and clearer for consumers.”
Six out of 10 Britons want to keep their European Union citizenship after Brexit
I have never in my life heard anyone say that they are EU citizens.
This morning I saw the same thing in a Swedish paper
60% wants GB to remain as member of EU.
That conviced me. It sounded much more logical. Also people would be willing to pay more to keep their EU rights. They do not want Brexit at all.
Not one word about keeping the EU citizenship after Brexit.
I have never in my life heard anyone say that they are EU citizens. It sounds as if there could have been a possibility to personally pay for remaining a EU citizen.
Studien som är gjord av London School of Economics visar även att många britter kan tänka sig betala stora summor för att behålla EU-rättigheterna.
The poll was carried out by professor Bruter and Sarah Harrison from the LSE’s research initiative for the study of electoral psychology, ECREP, in conjunction with polling firm Opinium.
In some instances, people were ready to pay very large sums of money for the citizenship, and this includes people who voted to exit from the union.
Of those who voted Leave in June last year but would now be willing to pay for EU citizenship, one in 10 said they would pay more than £1,000 a year to guarantee their rights.
On average, respondents said they would expect to pay £405 per year, which included 32 per cent of people who would not be willing to pay anything.
Among those who said they would be willing to pay, the average sum cited rocketed to £594.
Professor Bruter told The Independent that the issue of EU citizenship could crystallise the Brexit negotiations.
“This is a real symbolic issue that is also linked to people’s emotions. We wanted to do this study to find out what people thought about the issue while the negotiations are ongoing.
“It shows that young people are very attached to their European citizenship. These are people who were born in a world with 28 member states and more than 500 million people – suddenly, their world has got much smaller.
“Previous research we carried out also showed that despite the UK having a very large number of people who did not feel European at all it also had the third biggest proportion of people who said feeling very European.”
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I do not think it depends on using their rights as EU-citizens. We all do when we travel or work within EU. It is a feeling.
I came here as the wife of a Gastarbeiter. Sweden was not in EU, so I was a Gastarbeiter wife.I had to have an allowance to live here.