Letter to Brits living in the EU from UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May

Ahead of the Christmas period, the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, has written a letter to British citizens living in the EU in which she gives an update on citizens’ rights in the negotiations with the EU, following the December European Council last week. The letter is below:


From the very beginning of the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union I have been consistently clear that protecting the rights of both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU was my first priority. I know that the referendum result has caused considerable anxiety for many of you and your families.
That is why, at the beginning of the negotiating process, I made it clear that any deal guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK would be dependent on such an offer being reciprocated for our UK nationals in the remaining Member States.
So I am delighted to announce that in concluding the first phase of the negotiations that is exactly what we have achieved.
From speaking to my counterparts across Europe, I know that they hugely value the UK nationals living in their communities. We have worked hard to address the very complex and technical issues that needed working through before a formal agreement could be reached. The details are set out in the Joint Report agreed by the UK Government and the European Commission, as published Friday 8 December.
This agreement guarantees that your rights as residents in the EU will be protected in the Withdrawal Agreement, so you can have certainty that you will be able to receive healthcare rights, pension and other benefits provisions as you do today. You can also benefit from existing rules for past and future social security contributions.
Furthermore, we have agreed that close family members will be able to join you in the Member State where you live, after the UK has left. This includes existing spouses and civil partners, unmarried partners, children, dependent parents and grandparents, as well as children born or adopted outside of the UK after 29th March 2019.
While I hope this agreement will bring you some reassurance, I know there are a few important issues that have yet to be concluded. We raised these concerns, including the ability of UK nationals living in the EU to retain certain rights if they move within the EU, but the EU was not ready to discuss them in this phase of the negotiations. We will continue to raise these issues with the EU in the New Year.
I will continue to push for the best possible deal for our nationals across the EU, but in the meantime, please do sign up for the latest updates on gov.uk.
The constructive way in which these talks have been conducted gives me confidence that we will achieve a final deal that reflects the strong partnership between the UK and our European partners, and is in the mutual interest of citizens living across the continent.
I wish you and your families a great Christmas and a very happy New Year.


  1. As always Janet your interjection comes at precisely the right moment.

  2. Clarence,
    The issue Brexit does not concern me at all because of
    several EU members that get money from an other country. That’s wrong.
    I have no information at all what your former MP’s say.
    That’s wrong as well.
    You mention several items which simply are completely
    untrue because they were never written by me.
    Your statements simply are the result of your phantasy.

    By the way:
    Will Mrs. Brexit still find a new deputy in 2017 ?
    Or does every potential candidate refuse her job offer because they all already know for sure that she will have to quit her job in 2018 ?
    The assumption is that they will all wait for a new PM to offer them a job in a reshuffled cabinet.

    1. Author

      This really seems a pointless argument now … can we please leave it until there’s something more definite to say?

  3. And opinion polls are always very accurate….Really ??

  4. Wolfgang as others have already pointed out your interest appears merely to inflame matters because Brexit concerns you, probably because of the financial implications for the remaining countries when we leave. We have made our democratic decision and will honour our word. We care not what others think so they can rant on as long as they want but this is my last word on the subject. Dont be fooled by retired UK MP’s who miss the limelight and make anti Brexit speeches. Nobody listens to them, they are yesterdays people.

  5. Clarence,
    4 out of 9 Brits agree with you.

    According to opinion polls which have been published
    in mid December 5 out of 9 Brits do not agree with you.
    The conclusion is that you belong to a strong minority
    which however is not at all important in a democratic
    country like UK when it comes to make final decisions.

  6. Wolfgang,
    As often happens with threads on contentious subjects (although why UK politics should be so contentious for you I do not understand) they degenerate into becoming more about personal animosity. Therefore I will make no further comment on this issue so I will no longer be ‘talking a lot.’ I do not agree with your opinion but I respect your right to express it….millions of people have died over many years, for that right to be protected.

  7. Wolfgang you havent made one point i could agree with but you’ve made plenty to convince many that Brexit was the right decision. Like it or not it is going to happen, we wont be havimg a second referendum and i doubt we will be the only ones to leave the EU. Hungary and Poland are sick to death with the burocratic dogmatic EU as are other countries so dont hold your breath that the EU will survive. They need our money which i suspect is the reason for your ranting on this site. Bye bye .???

  8. Not necessary Nigel …… go back to bed.

  9. It’s probably a good job we are severing the ties with Europe Wolfgang if they all think the same as you.

  10. Nigel, No, it’s the other way around:
    The PM from UK has an unhealthy obsession about the
    subject Brexit.
    If you want to enjoy the mentioned period why do you
    comment here now ?

  11. I think you should take a day off and enjoy Christmas and new year Wolfgang and not worry about Uk politics as you seem to have an unhealthy obsession about this subject…Happy new year !!

  12. Phillip, you talk a lot but you do not have the courage to bet in favour of PM May.
    So what ?

    By the way UK does not have any guarantee to get a deal.
    EU can simply let them go away without any agreement.
    The crucial question many very important people ask in
    EU27 is: Why should there be a partnership after divorce ?

    This is what Mrs. Brexit does not understand because she is naive.
    EU will not talk to her for another three months at least. They are waiting and hoping for another PM to come.

  13. Wolfgang,
    I would not bet on any European leader being in office next week, let alone next year! Politics is a volatile business but it is admirable that you take such an interest in the politics of the UK.
    All I am interested in, is securing a deal with our european partners – and that will be facilitated by the democratically elected governement in the UK, whoever that is. Theresa May is battling on many fronts, the labour party, her own party, the EU and now apparantly people like yourself. There are many agendas at play during this process and some are nothing to do with the negotiations.
    As for the DUP – whether they are in the seventeenth century or not – they were democratically elected. The way to remove them is not to vote for them.

  14. Janet, you are 100 % right. I know who you are.

    But maybe you should also write a comment for Ms. Hack
    that you think it is entirely appropriate that someone like me who is not a UK citizen comments on it.
    Such a statement is missing here in your comment in order to stay neutral against everybody in the world.

    By the way I like your work very much because you do a perfect job.
    I wish you a wonderful christmas time on this beautiful

    1. Author

      oh I think you have every right to comment as well! I think that Brexit affects the whole of Europe so it’s entirely appropriate that anyone should feel free to have their say. Merry Christmas to you too!

  15. Maureen, with a name like Hack I take it you are from Germany or Austria or Switzerland.
    What are you doing in Spain ?
    And even if you really are from UK why do you comment here on a foreign site dealing with Tenerife. This island is a part of Spain and not a part of UK, as you know.

    1. Author

      Just to clarify, given Wolfgang’s last comment, this is not “a foreign site”. It is hosted in the US, is written in English by a British person resident fully legally in Spain. Moreover, this particular post is the UK PM’s letter to all Brits living in the EU, and actually is not specifically about Tenerife at all. I think it is entirely appropriate that someone from the UK comments on it!

  16. Wolfgang why are you even commenting on this post. With a name like Wolfgang I take it you are not British so keep your nose out of British business.

  17. We are giving up having our “Sovereignty ” controlled by EU only to have it controlled by DUP who still live in 17th Century !

  18. Phillip: December 23

  19. Phililip, do you want to bet with me about your PM ?
    I make you a proposal: if she is still in office on Sunday,
    December 2018, I will give you 365 Euro.
    If however Mrs. May has quit within one year, you give me
    365 Pound.
    We can meet on that day at TFS or TFN airport to pay this
    amount to the winner.
    Your PM is a lame duck who will be destroyed from her
    own party next year. They are already wokring on that, please believe me. Nobody even wants to become her new deputy after she kicked out Mr. Green three days ago.
    Will you bet with me ?

  20. Wolfgang,
    Angela Merkel is still struggling to cobble together a coalition following the election some months ago. Theresa May managed to form a government with the support of the DUP which makes it a majority government. I do not understand why you seem to relish the thought of Theresa may leaving office as it will not and cannot alter the referendum result.
    Whoever is in office in the United Kingdom will carry out the democratic will of the British people and that is to leave the European Union. Opinion polls are irrelevant as we all know – they swing wildly depending on which way the current tide is flowing.
    I personally do not care who is in government in any EU member state – that is a decision for their electorate who have the right to choose their own destiny. We are where we are and it would be better to work together to achieve a satisfactory agreement that will be beneficial to all parties. The UK is leaving the EU and not leaving Europe. Neither side benefits from the constant bickering or trying to establish who ‘came out on top.’ This is about people’s futures, not petty point scoring.

  21. Juncker and Merkel are successful; now I have heard everything ! You are just trying to be provocative I think ?

  22. Clarence, why should a successful EU team have to resign ?
    Remember, they have fought and won democratic elections.
    Maybe Mrs. Merkel will even follow Mr. Juncker in office.

    It will be Mrs. May only who will have to leave from Number 10 in the near future (after her deputy was already kicked out before Christmas).
    Reality Check: Nobody knows who will follow her in office but everybody knows that another PM will come soon.

  23. Wolfgsng if Mrs Merkel and her partner Juncker had resigned ages ago perhaps we wouldnt be having this conversation.

  24. Dazzler, my point is that the resignation of Mrs. May is the first part of my above mentioned political road map for the UK which will become reality until the end of this decade.
    Did not you read that here three days ago ? Please check it.

  25. I just can’t wait to get my Blue Passport – It’s what it was all about !
    Will it have a Scottish Saltire on it – maybe an Independent Tenerife will copy it !

  26. Wolfgang, I wouldnt be surprised also – and your point is?

  27. Dazzler, I wouldnt be surprised if there will no longer be a Mrs. May as your PM within 20 weeks. But that is just my opinion.

  28. Wolfgang unfortunately your opinion is just that, an opinion, nothing else. My thinking is that we got out at the right time, the only major contributors to the EU seem to be UK, Germany & France. I wouldnt be surprised if there will no longer be an EU within 20 years. But that is just my opinion

  29. Snowbird, Yes of course, you are right.

    There are, however, two “but”:
    1) But the gap between 51 % and 41 % is huge,
    2) But there is no evidence that the opinion poll is dubious.
    There are no political analysts in UK who mentioned
    that this is not a serious opinion poll.

    Yesterday her deputy was forced to leave office and
    next year her party will force the PM to do so as well.
    My road map will happen before the end of this decade, please believe me.

  30. Why not aim to have another referendum and possibly a third making it the best of three wins?

  31. Sorry Wolfgang one was a national referendum one was a dubious opinion poll.

  32. Snowbird, Why is Brexit a nonsense?
    This is
    what 48.1 % of Brits said last year
    and 51.0 % of Brits said last week.

    Clarence, please accept the above mentioned figures.
    It is called democracy (similar to the Irish referendums
    in 2008 and 2009 concerning the issue Lisbon treaty.)

  33. Wolfgang your comments are arrogant to say the least and probably none of your concern. The UK voted to leave the EU – THE END. There is no such thing as having another referendum just because some people dont like the result. The comments by Phillip are spot on. Not the result he hoped for but we now get on with things. Its called democracy.

  34. As a ‘remainer’ and an ex- pat I was disappointed at the referendum decision to leave the EU. However, the democratic will of the majority of the British people has to be respected by UK Politicians of all affiliations and members of the European Union. The blame game of who said what and why during the campaign is now irrelevant and it is the duty of the british government to negotiate the best deal possible. It is sickening to see and hear all sides bickering and arguing about ‘what ifs’ and then even after reaching agreement in important areas – then leaking counter positions to the press. At the end of the day an agreement will be reached and the pathetic posturing is an insult to the people who cast a vote in the referendum. If politicians do not like the result, they should not have asked the question. One lesson learned – referenda divide more than conventional elections!

  35. Brexit is nonsense.
    The political roadmap in the UK should be as follows:
    1) a majority in parliament forces Mrs. May to leave,
    2) to look for an acceptable PM to follow her in office,
    3) a new referendum is to be held to give the Brits
    a second chance to change their mind.

  36. You can’t expect that level of detail at this stage. I think the Prime Minister is trying to walk a very narrow tightrope, with certain EU negotiaters shaking the rope!!!

  37. Ok then. Now what about driving licences? And freedom of movement? What about claiming of pensions when a person has worked in the UK plus one, or more, EU countries? Which queue at UK airports, Mrs May? Which queue when we return here? Will the passport still be our ID in Euro countries? Will Brits in the EU need visas for travel? And that is just off the top of my head. The letter is condescending at best and piffle at worst.

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