PRAGUE (Reuters) – British courts should protect the rights of European Union citizens living in the country after it leaves the bloc, Brexit minister David Davis said on Tuesday, defending Britain’s rejection of the EU’s position.
Protecting the rights of EU citizens living in Britain and of Britons in the remaining 27 EU countries after the British exit from the bloc is major sticking point as talks between London and Brussels on Brexit get under way.
Britain has opposed EU insistence on the rights of 3 million Europeans in Britain being guaranteed by recourse to the European Court of Justice.
Davis, when asked if Britain was willing to compromise, said: “We are intent that this should be put in an act in of parliament enforced by British courts … and most importantly backed up by a treaty.”
“When we, for example, sign a deal, let’s say with the United States, we don’t give the United States Supreme Court the right to enforce that,” he said at a news conference in Prague after a regular meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.
Davis said Britain took “seriously the requirement to give certainty to European citizens”.
EU and British negotiators held their first full round of Brexit talks last week. Davis, leading the British side, said they got off to a “good start”.
Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Louise Ireland