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The Brexit negotiations have grown increasingly sour over the past few weeks. After failing to reach an agreement on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK in exchange for UK citizens living throughout Europe being given a similar deal, the EU has now threatened to escalate the situation even further. The latest threats from the EU came after the UK failed to confirm that EU citizens would be able to move to another EU country and then return to the UK after Brexit. In retaliation, the EU negotiators have threatened to make it difficult for any UK citizens currently living in EU countries to relocate to another EU state after Brexit.
Under the UK government’s plans, EU citizens living in the UK would lose the right to return to the country to live if they leave for more than two years. The only exception to the rule would be if the person had significant ties to the country. In return, the EU negotiators have threatened to make it difficult for UK citizens currently living in Europe to move around the EU27 countries. This would mean that if a UK citizen living in France wanted to relocate to Spain, they wouldn’t be able to do so.
This isn’t the only area of disagreement that has emerged from the negotiations. In addition to these threats, the EU negotiators have also voiced their disapproval that the UK government wants to carry out criminal records checks on those nationals who apply for indefinite leave to remain. There have also been reports that the Brussels has rejected requests for UK nationals to be able to continue using their European Health Insurance Cards to claim free or subsidised health insurance while holidaying in Europe.
According to a report in the Independent, the negotiation process looks bleak and there is a lot of work to be done in order to untangle UK law from EU law. While it was previously assumed that all law would be carried over and then amended further down the line, this has proven to be more difficult than first thought. Even things as seemingly simple as creating a customs IT system to come into play after Brexit could cause a real headache. A report from the National Audit Office said the £157m system is due to be completed 2 months the end of the Brexit negotiations, but expert warn that teething problems with new IT systems could delay this and risk £34bn of public income.