Brexit news – Theresa May’s offer on citizens’ rights criticised by Ukip and Lib Dems | Politics | News

Ukip’s Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten described the proposal tabled by the prime minister as “pitiful” and pointed out it means the UK will not fully regain control of its borders until five years after the decision to leave. 

Earlier today the Government published its detailed offer to EU negotiators on the thorny subject of citizens’ rights after Brexit which includes a vow to toughen up immigration rules in the future. 

But eurosceptics were outraged by small print in the deal which advocates a “grace period” of up to two years after the date when Britain leaves the club during which EU nationals can still apply for permanent residency.  

Ministers say that this measure is necessary to avoid a cliff-edge for EU migration and prevent a last minute surge of people coming to the UK in Spring 2019. 

But that excuse did not wash with London MEP Mr Batten who said ordinary voters would not be able to understand why free movement is not set to end on the day Britain formally quits the club. 

He told “This is an outrageous betrayal of the will of the British people on one of the most important points of the referendum vote – to stop EU mass immigration.

“Finally gaining control over our borders in 2021, almost five years after the referendum result, is pitiful.”

“Our public services simply cannot cope with this added pressure, over 150,000 EU migrants a year come to the UK on current numbers. 

“Immediate legislative action is required to enforce the will of the British people and to delay until 2021 is simply more Tory Brexit backsliding.”

The PM’s offer was attacked on all sides tonight as the Liberal Democrats, who have campaigned vigorously to overturn the referendum result, conversely criticised it for not being generous enough. 

Brexit spokesman Tom Brake MP said: “Far from being ‘fair and serious’, this proposal offers very little and shows the government is continuing in its callousness.  

“Theresa May should be utterly…

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