Mr Tusk, who represents the other EU 27 nations, said the EU would “analyse line by line” the UK’s proposals when they were published in full but his “first impression is that the UK’s offer is below our expectations and that it risks worsening the situation of citizens”.
And Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta – who currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU – warned of people being “treated differently” depending on date they arrived in the UK.
Supposedly the UK has put forward a different approach towards the EU expats, who settled in the country in different waves of the block’s enlargement. The biggest community of the EU citizens in the UK is Polish, which has grown rapidly after the country was granted a EU member status in 2004. There are an estimated 831,000 Polish-born residents in 2015 – a jump of almost three-quarters of a million compared to the number in 2004 – the year the country joined the EU.
The immigration control is prioritized by the UK citizens over the free trade with the European Union, showed the results of poll published this week, reflecting the vision of future of the majority of Britons ahead of the entering into ‘divorce’ negotiations.
The launch of the negotiations has been postponed since the last year referendum, indicating the complexity of the task, related to the level of integration of the UK into the block, which will not allow an easy stepping out.
However many experts point at the shifting date of evoking Article 50 as a favorable factor for the UK, awaiting the results of elections in the leading EU member states this year, namely in the Netherlands in March, France in May, Germany in autumn, early elections are highly probable in Italy after MP Matteo Renzi stepping down.
The accession of Eurosceptics to power in the key EU member-states will create opportunities for the UK to diminish the losses and preserve at maximum the advantages of mutually beneficial trade relations with the block. The immigration policy, namely the ‘free movement of people’ remains the major stumble block between two parties.
The end of March is declared as the next self-imposed deadline of the UK government to open two years process of negotiations to obtain a new framework of co-operation with the EU27. The ORB International issued the poll results, indicating 46% of the participants consider immigration control prior to the access to free trade, supported by 39%.
ORB conducted its monthly Brexit tracker among an online among 2075 UK adults aged +18 during fieldwork on 6-8 January claiming 95% of confidence.
(Source: ORB International)