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UK lawmakers warn citizens' rights at risk in no-deal Brexit

By The News · 22 of July 2019 03:38:24
AP Photo, Michel Barnier, No available, FILE - In this Monday, May 20, 2019 file photo, the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier adjusts his glasses after talking to the media with Cyprus' foreign minister Nicos Christodoulides at the foreign ministry in Nicosia, Cyprus. Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31, but Parliament has rejected the government's divorce deal with the bloc. The bloc insists it won’t change the 585-page withdrawal agreement, which sets out the terms of Britain’s departure and includes a transition period of almost two years to allow both sides to adjust to their new relationship. “This document is the only way to leave the EU in an orderly manner,” EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the BBC in an interview broadcast Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

BRUSSELS (AP) — British lawmakers are meeting the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, seeking an iron-clad guarantee that 1.3 million U.K. citizens in the bloc won’t have their rights removed and lives disrupted in the event the country leaves the EU without a deal.

The rights of U.K. citizens living in the 27 other EU nations, and of 3 million EU nationals in Britain, are one of the key issues of Brexit.

Their rights to live, work and study are protected under an agreement struck between the two sides — but it has been rejected by Britain’s Parliament, raising the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

Conservative lawmaker Alberto Costa, who is leading the delegation to meet negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Friday, says “If there’s no agreement, there’s no protection.”