The United Kingdom will allow 3 million European Union citizens to stay in the country after Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May told EU leaders Thursday.
EU citizens enjoy the right to live and work everywhere within the union without applying for a visa. Millions of Europeans feared they would be forced to leave the U.K. after Brexit, but they may instead be granted the same rights as British citizens.
A condition for any deal will be that the 1 million British citizens who live abroad get the same treatment. Many Brits have applied for dual citizenships to maintain their EU status in the future.
May’s opening proposal was generally considered to be generous, but the German government called it the “bare minimum” as negotiations continue.
“You could say that this is actually something that should be taken for granted,” Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Friday, according to AFP. “And how bad must the relationship be if we are already celebrating things that should be taken for granted as breakthroughs in the negotiations?”
May has been forced to take a softer stance on Brexit since failing to secure an absolute majority in the June 8 election. Negotiations started Monday and will continue over the next 18 months.
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