The latest from Brexit Negotiations

News from the latest round of Brexit negotiations is that “some concrete progress” has been made and that negotiators had “engaged in detail” on the core matters of citizens’ and healthcare rights and on economic rights.

One of the most important agreements is on the right to healthcare; David Davis confirmed this week that negotiators have agreed to maintain reciprocal healthcare for British and EU retirees affected by Brexit. British pensioners who have retired to other EU countries will continue to have their healthcare paid for by the NHS post-Brexit: “Both sides have agreed to protect the rights of frontier workers, to cover future social security contributions, to protect existing healthcare rights and arrangements for EU27 citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU – the Ehic arrangements. This is good news for British pensioners in the EU who can have their healthcare arrangements protected where they live and have an Ehic when they travel to other member states.

Also agreed in principle was that professional qualifications will be recognized across the bloc after Brexit, allowing lawyers, doctors, accountants, seafarers, train drivers and others who have moved to or from the UK to another EU country to work under their existing credentials.

There is however still disagreement on “further movement rights”. The EU says that Britons in the EU should only retain the right to live and work in the country where they are living on exit day; the UK says any Britons living in EU27 countries on exit day should maintain all the same rights if they later move to another EU country; the UK also says the same should apply if they want to undertake any ‘cross-border activity’ (such as living in France and working in Italy) after exit day.

Discussions are inevitably proving to be long and complex but both sides seem to be in agreement that citizens’ rights (Britons in Europe and Europeans in Britain) are a priority and hopefully there will be further progress soon.

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