ANTONIO TAJANI, president of the European Parliament, emerged smiling from his meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on April.
Speaking to the waiting press, he said that he had emphasised the need for Britain to recognise and safeguard the rights of EU citizens in the UK and also the parliament wanted to ensure the same safeguards for UK citizens within the Union.
He went on to say that he was optimistic about the outcome of the discussions and that the prime minister understood the importance that the European Parliament placed on the protection of citizens’ rights.
Mr Tajani did however admit that he had received no firm commitment from Mrs May but was comfortable with the fact that there is to be a general election in the UK as that would ensure that whichever party won, it would be able to negotiate from a position of certainty.
Assuming that the Conservatives are re-elected, there may be one major barrier to overcome; it concerns the enshrinement of these rights through the European Court of Justice, an anathema to Brexiteers.
Negotiations over Brexit will be slightly delayed by the election on June 8 but Mr Tajani also indicated that the EU would welcome Britain back into the Union should there be a change of government which had the wish to remain.