Even if UK citizens in the EU are granted reciprocal rights those will only extend to providing the same standard and range of state support which is granted to nationals in the country of residence of any British citizen who resides in the EU. This will be much less extensive and generous than that which would have to be provided by the UK to EU nationals in the UK.
It is also unclear that Britons in other EU countries will be able to reside in any EU state after Brexit or only in the EU state in which they have resided while the UK has been part of the EU. The joint agreement between the UK and the EU states:
“Union citizens who in accordance with Union law legally reside in the UK, and UK nationals who in accordance with Union law legally reside in an EU27 Member State by the specified date, as well as their family members as defined by Directive 2004/38/EC who are legally resident in the host State by the specified date, fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
That could be interpreted as meaning that Britons who reside in an EU country will only have the right to reside in that EU country after Brexit.
Putting all these facts in the balance it is clearly not in the UK’s interest to simply agree a reciprocal deal with the EU over British citizens in other EU countries and EU migrants in the UK. There needs to be a proper costing of the respective costs of migrants to on the one hand the UK and on the other the EU. The cost of the EU migrants in the UK would be vastly greater than the cost of British citizens to other EU countries. Far from accepting that the UK owes the EU anything May’s Government should push for payments from the EU to defray the much greater costs of supporting more than three times the number of EU citizens in the UK compared with British citizens living in EU countries.
3) The UK/EU balance of trade being much in favour of the rest of the EU. In 2016 other EU member states exported £82 billion more to the UK than the UK exported to the rest of the UK. Perhaps even more significant, the deficit in exports of goods was larger, being £96 billion, for it is jobs attached to the supply of goods rather than the provision of services which often get the most media and political attention because these are the businesses which have large numbers of employees in one place, for example car manufacturers.
4) Ireland. The position of the Republic of Ireland (ROI) could have been the trump card in the negotiations. The ROI should have been told either you leave the EU when the UK leaves or there will be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic which would include an end to the Common Travel area between the Republic and the UK.
If tariffs were imposed by the EU and reciprocal ones imposed by the UK this would cripple the Republic whose economy is very heavily dependent on trade with the UK.
Northern Ireland could be compensated for any loss of trade by the UK taxpayer until their economy has rebalanced. This rebalancing could happen by, for example, exporting much more of their farm produce to the British mainland.
5) The nervousness of the EU. There are very public signs that the rest of the EU are distinctly nervous about the UK leaving without a deal. Once May had capitulated over the shape of the negotiation she was shown on friendly terms with the EU negotiators and was reported to have been applauded at a dinner with other EU leaders. This is best interpreted as the EU political and bureaucratic elites considering May to be their creature whom they were determined to keep in office for fear that if her government falls the chances of the UK walking away from a deal would increase or a new government prove to be less pliant to the EU will than that of May.
[Ed: the final part, Part Five, will be published here on UKIP Daily tomorrow.]