We’re providing certainty for EU citizens. Time for all EU countries to adopt a similar approach for Brits.— Brandon Lewis MP (@BrandonLewis) December 18, 2019
To remind @guyverhofstadt what I said a few months ago 👇https://t.co/zgiuQlf8oG https://t.co/EBkiehI5xt
Member of the European Parliament
Brexit Co-ordinator and Chair
Brexit Steering Group
European Parliament Office
Steve Peers (@StevePeers Professor of EU, Human Rights & World Trade Law, University of Essex) has just brought my attention to the fact that Lewis has also got the date wrong here. And, following from that error, he has got his facts wrong in another way too.
Assuming Brexit goes ahead with Johnson's "new" (Withdrawal Agreement (WA) - which is all but certain now - EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU will have until six months after the end of the "transition" period - i.e. until at least June 2021 to apply for settlement under the terms of the WA! In other words, Lewis's call for the EU to match our offer of a "deadline of at least 31 December 2020" is completely nonsensical.
Lewis is, however, correct (as I understand it) that some (or all?) EU countries have (modest) charges in place for UK citizens now forced to apply for residency in those countries as the UK originally insisted on for EU in UK. Again, the UK government could have easily tried to negotiate free schemes for all had it been so inclined at the time, but this would have meant the UK putting the plight of its own citizens above its desire (at that stage in the proceedings) to penalize EU citizens.