World Bulletin / News Desk
A roadmap of the U.K. government’s Brexit strategy will be published Thursday, Prime Minister Theresa May has told parliament.
May told parliament Wednesday that the White Paper will include the government’s approach to the statuses of both EU nationals living in the U.K. and British citizens living in the EU member states and that an early settlement of the issue will be sought at the start of negotiations on exiting the 28-member bloc.
“My intention and expectation is that we will be able to offer that reassurance to EU nationals living in the UK but I do also want to see reassurances offered to U.K. nationals living in the EU,” she said.
She said the issue “will be referenced in the White Paper,” which is “to be published tomorrow.”
Also taking questions over the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, May said she and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny both want to ensure there is no “return to the borders of the past” and reiterated their agreement to have a border that is “as frictionless as possible”.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order banning entry from certain countries and halting refugee admissions altogether led to tough questioning for the premier.
Responding to the MPs, May said that during her visit last week she “made very clear that this policy was divisive and wrong.”
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn cited the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees, saying, “President Trump has breached that convention; why didn’t she [Theresa May] speak out?”
In reply, May said that last year Britain accepted 10,000 refugees and the U.K. was the second-biggest donor in aid for refugees.
Article 50 bill
Parliament later today is to vote on a bill to empower the U.K. government to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will start the official Brexit negotiations between the U.K. and the EU.
The bill was presented to parliament last week, following a U.K. Supreme Court decision which said the government must seek parliament’s approval before triggering the article.
British voters decided to leave the 28-member bloc in a referendum held last June.
May has insisted she will trigger Article 50 by the end of this March 2017.