BRITISH ex pats living in Spain may be given the opportunity to retain some kind of European citizenship post-Brexit, according to the European parliament’s (EP) head negotiator.
The scheme to bestow “associate citizenship” on individuals from “former EU nations” had initially been earmarked as a long-term idea, but has now been fast-tracked by Guy Verhofstadt, who will lead Brexit talks for the EP.
Should it go ahead, it will allow British citizens who take up the offer to travel freely and live and work anywhere within the EU, as well as permitting them to vote in EP elections.
“Some things cannot wait until treaty change,” said Verhofstadt. “Therefore, the ability to keep European citizenship for those who risk losing it will be on the table of the upcoming Brexit negotiations and will be discussed at the moment of the parliament’s resolution, right after the triggering of article 50 in March.”
His comments came after the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday in favour of triggering Article 50, which will kick-start Britain’s departure from the EU, by March.
Should it be approved, the associate plan would doubtless prove popular with Britons who live in the EU, with many having already applied for formal citizenship in the countries where they reside.