Pay as you Go

UK citizens living in the EU could pay an annual fee to keep some of their benefits if a proposal by Luxemburg MEP Charles Goerens is accepted.  Encouragingly, Guy Verhofstadt (lead EU Brexit negotiator) says: “as a proposal, I like it”. A further 80 parliamentarians agree, putting their signatures on a letter to Donald Tusk. ‘Associate citizenship’ would allow Freedom of Movement in the EU, and less interestingly a right to vote in EU elections. What the fee would be has not yet been announced, although this is something that would surely be welcomed by UK business. However, does it create further inequality at a time where this is a rising concern? A two-tier system where people can pay for citizenship does not strike a good chord. In any event, it’s early days. The UK would almost certainly not grant reciprocal rights, and given that all 28 EU nations would need to agree, it still, therefore, seems a long shot.