LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will not automatically deport European Union citizens who have not applied for the right to remain in the country after Brexit, European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said on Friday.
Verhofstadt, who met with British ministers including Brexit minister Stephen Barclay on Thursday, said he had been reassured there would be a grace period for those who have not applied for Britain’s “settled status” scheme by the June 2021 deadline.
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“What will happen for those people even after the grace period? Well there will be no automatic deportation,” Verhofstadt told BBC Radio.
“After the grace period they will have a possibility to apply, giving the grounds why it was not possible to do it within the normal procedures.”
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Asked about Verhofstadt’s comments, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman confirmed there would be no automatic deportation.
Reuters reported in November that Britain was threatening to deport EU citizens if they failed to apply on time and would grant leniency only in exceptional circumstances.
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