Phoney war may be nearly over as Barnier and Davis agree draft text - but still much work to be done on details

Mr Barnier and Mr Davis appear to have concluded a draft agreement to prepare for the UK's withdrawal from the EU - but there are still quite a lot of questions left hanging.

Read the full text of the draft agreement here

The key announcement in terms of citizens' rights, however, is that EU citizens moving to the UK and Britons moving to the EU during the transition period will enjoy the same rights as before.

So free movement will not come to an end on 29 March 2018 and the principle is still worth fighting for beyond that. This is a significant victory and we should celebrate that.

The longer transition period also paves the way for the introduction of a #GreenCard4Europe, an award-winning proposal by Roger Casale for ending the impasse now on citizens' rights. 

Commenting from London where he is  guest speaker at the #StayorGo conference at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre,  Roger Casale, Founder and CEO  of New Europeans said: 

"It is very welcome news that transnational UK and EU citizens arriving in Britain or an EU member state during the transition period will continue to have the same rights as now. What this means in practice is that these citizens will retain their EU citizenship and free movement rights during the transition period. That buys valuable time to implement the Green Card for Europe proposal we have been advocating but it does nothing to alleviate uncertainty about what will happen when the transition period comes to an end."

It must be obvious to the EU institutions if not to the UK government, that prolonging the uncertainty and anxiety for EU27 citizens in the UK now or who come here in the transition period and for their counterparts, the British citizens living or about to move to an EU member state, is completely unacceptable.

We cannot wait until the end of the transition period for implementation of the new regime that will stabilize the status of transnational citizens once and for all. It's not even right that we should have to wait until the withdrawal agreement is signed and ratified.

It is now time for the UK and the EU to act unilaterally and in parallel to secure the rights of transnational citizens - the introduction of a Green Card for Europe scheme can and should start immediately and we call on the EU council to invite the Commission to bring forward such proposals without further delay.

A comprehensive solution is needed now for all Eu27 citizens, that means people with disabilities, it means carers, it means the victims of domestic violence, it means children in foster care it means all the categories of people who are currently threatened with potential exlusion even from the "lighter touch" settled status scheme proposed by the Home office in the UK."

For more information and to back the GreenCard4Europe proposal, click here


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