Tory MP Alberto Costa, who has campaigned on the issue, commented that Mr Barclay’s intervention was “better late than never.”
Currently, around 1.3 million UK citizens live in one of the 27 EU Countries with the UK home to around 3.2 million EU nationals.
The latest deal agreed by Theresa May covered citizens’ rights within the EU, but the deal has not been approved by MPs. The EU commented previously that the way to ensure and safeguard citizens rights would be to agree to the withdrawal agreement.
Although he promised “no British national will be left in the dark,” Barnier said agreeing a Brexit deal should remain the number one priority.
Following the departure of prime minister Theresa May, the likely hood of a no deal Brexit has increased significantly, however, the prime minister has said EU citizens in the UK will be able to stay even if there is no deal done.
Boris Johnson who has secured the top position for the second time at the ballot of Conservative MPs in the leadership contest to succeed May has promised to re-open talks with the EU adding that the UK must be prepared to leave the EU without a deal.
If this is the case and the UK leaves without a deal, residents who have lived in the UK for five years or more and qualify for residency and should not see their rights affected.
However, uncertainty remains with Britons who live in one of the 27 EU member states, without a deal secured Tory, Mr Costa commented “Failure, will result in a total loss of rights for British nationals in the EU, confusion over pensions and welfare access, and undoubtedly a tsunami of litigation against the failure of the UK govt to protect their rights.”
Mr Costa is calling on all leadership candidates to commit to changing the law as soon as possible should they win to secure a separate deal.
Only Michael Gove so far has promised to do so and has received the backing of Mr Costa as a result.