September 28, 2017 / 1:24 PM / a year ago

European Parliament wants Britain to end discrimination against EU citizens: draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European parliamentarians want Britain to end “regrettable” practices that discriminate against EU citizens in the workplace and elsewhere, a draft resolution published on Thursday showed.

A general view shows the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressing the European Parliament during a debate on The State of the European Union in Strasbourg, France, September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Lawmakers also urged British authorities to grant broad rights to EU citizens and their families in Britain after it exits the EU in 2019, an issue where EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday big differences remained.

The European Parliament “expresses concern about regrettable administrative practices against EU citizens living in the United Kingdom”, the draft resolution said.

Lawmakers said there were also cases of British citizens discriminated against in other EU countries.

The British government said on Sept. 9 that its Equalities Office (GEO) was “aware of, and is looking into, reports of discrimination against non-UK EU nationals seeking employment” in violation of the 2010 Equality Act.

The document, agreed on Thursday by the leaders of the assembly’s political parties, will be voted on by the chamber next week in Strasbourg.

The document is not binding on EU negotiators but the 28-nation parliament has the right to veto any deal with Britain on its future relations with the EU.

MPs also urged Britain to protect the rights of EU citizens and their children even if they are born there after Brexit.

“Future family members should continue to benefit from right of residence under the same provisions as current family members,” the document said.

EU lawmakers have opposed Britain’s proposals to create a new category of “settled status” under United Kingdom immigration law for EU citizens.

Differences on these issues remain, Barnier said on Thursday at the end of a fourth round of Brexit negotiations.

Without sufficient progress on citizens’ rights, the EU will not move on to negotiations on a future trade deal with London.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio in Brussels and William James in London; editing by Mark Heinrich

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