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Theresa May has indicated she will fight a proposal to give residency rights to EU citizens during the transition period after Brexit. She said there had to be a difference between those arriving after the UK leaves and those who came before.

She also sought to reassure Tory MPs worried about the length of transition. The European Parliament’s Brexit lead, Guy Verhofstadt, responded by tweeting: “Citizens’ rights during the transition are not negotiable.”

He said that “for the transition to work” there could not be “two sets of rights for EU citizens”.

And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he opposed the PM’s move, which he said would make it “harder for all of us” if it made it harder for EU nationals to come and work in the NHS.

Asked whether he believed he thought Mrs May had bowed to pressure from Brexiteers, the UK opposition leader said: “I think Theresa May is probably looking behind herself all the time.

“What she needs to be concentrating on is protecting jobs and ensuring we have good, tariff-free relations with Europe in the future.”



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