It shouldn't contain any surprises regarding citizens rights, i.e. there shouldn't be any difference between it and the December document, but I thought some people might be interested in reading it. Essentially it confers the same rights as we have under existing Directives regarding residence, healthcare and pensions and refers explicitly to the relevant Articles of those Directives.
The big contention in it seems to relate to the Irish border question. Political commentators are describing it as three options:
- 1 The UK will leave the EU but there will be a complete free trade agreement between the UK and the EU so no border is necessary. The EU describes this as "The cake and eat it" option which it rejects.
2 There is some sort of technological solution such that there is no visible border of any sort but by some, as yet unspecified, technological means traffic across it is controlled. The EU describes this as "The Narnia solution" and does not believe it is possible.
3 Northern Ireland stays in the customs union and the single market and there is a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. No UK government would agree to this and certainly the DUP would not agree to it and without them Theresa May cannot get legislation through parliament.
Having skim read the document I cannot really see those three options in the document but I agree that in practical terms that is what it will boil down to.The document is still a draft and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
PS I am not trying to drag up the whole Brexit debate again but this document is another important step on the route to settling our status so it is important and I know there are forum members who have ties to Ireland who will have concerns about the border issue.