Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis has mocked the European Union over divorce talks after Brussels published its position papers for talks with the UK on crucial issues.
Davis said on Tuesday that the EU's demands to protect its citizens’ rights in the UK were "ridiculously high", giving its citizens greater rights in the UK than Britons have.
European officials “are playing very hardball tactics and someone will have to know how to deal with them,” Davis told local media, adding, "The demands they are putting up are ridiculously high on EU citizens."
Protecting EU citizens’ rights has been one of the most debated issues ahead of the Brexit talks.
The ruling Tories published a series of documents they claim show the EU is set to demand life-time rights for its citizens living in Britain that are stronger than those of Britons.
The EU demands will include the right to bring spouses into Britain from non EU countries - something UK citizens cannot do without meeting strict criteria.
On Monday, the European Commission published its position papers for Brexit talks with the UK on crucial issues, such as maintaining citizens’ rights and a financial settlement with repercussions stretching beyond the Brexit end date.
The documents will create the framework for the divorce negotiations.
The documents reiterate that the rights for UK and EU citizens should be reciprocal and there should be equal treatment for the EU citizens living in the UK, and the rights should be extended to family members and need to be protected for life.
Some 3.5 million EU nationals live in the UK and 1.2 million Britons on the continent.