GUY Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, has warned free movement MUST continue during any transition period after the UK quits the EU next year.
And he warned that any attempt to place restrictions on the movement of EU citizens would amount to penalising them – something he described as “unacceptable”.
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) February 18, 2018
Speaking on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, former Belgian Prime Minister Mr Verhofstadt said he was “not against” a transition period but added: “It’s normal that in a transition, you simply continue the existing rules and the existing policies.”
He said: “It’s not acceptable for us that rules will continue without change for financial services, for goods, for whatever other business and only for the citizens their situation will change. That is penalising citizens.”
Mr Verhofstadt added it would be possible by March 2019 to agree a withdrawal agreement, a transition period and an annex, a political declaration, describing a future relationship between Britain and the EU.
Mr Verhofstadt said the EU understood Britain wanted to diverge in a number of fields and regain its sovereignty, but added it would have to take the “consequences” of it.He said: “Everything is depending on the red lines of the British side. I say single market is the best solution for the British industry and the British economy, but the British Government doesn’t want that because the red line is no freedom of movement of people.”