The U.K. will grant EU citizens living in the country the right to stay even if there is no Brexit deal, according to a leaked government paper seen by the Telegraph.
EU migrants will be entitled to continue living in the UK, accessing the NHS system and claiming benefits, the paper says. And these rights will be guaranteed unilaterally by the British government, regardless of whether Brussels agrees to do the same for British citizens living in the EU27.
“Making an offer is not only important to provide certainty publicly, but will enable the UK Government to take the moral high ground. A number of other plans are also dependent on the Government’s position on this issue, relying heavily on the availability of existing labour in a ‘no deal’ scenario,” the Telegraph quotes the leaked cabinet paper as saying. The paper also makes reference to the impact a no deal would have on the availability of labour for U.K. businesses.
The leaked document is one of over 80 documents on government planning in the event of a no deal, that are due for release over the next few weeks.
“By September, with six months to go until the U.K.’s exit, Government will need to decide whether to accelerate significantly cross-Government preparations up to and beyond October, in order to be ready in practice to deliver fully a ‘no deal’ scenario after October Council if required,” it reads.