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Merkel calls offer by May on EU citizens in UK 'good start'

Staff Writer |
European Union citizens living in Britain will be allowed to stay after the country's exit from the bloc, UK Prime Minister Theresa May told EU leaders on Thursday, according to a senior British official.

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May laid out the British proposal during a two-day EU summit that comes after negotiators for the EU and Britain met on Monday for their first formal talks in the two-year Brexit process.

Negotiators aim to reach an agreement over issues such as citizens' rights, the status of the Irish border and settling Britain's financial contributions to the EU over the coming months in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Britain, a member of the EU since 1973, is the first country ever to leave the bloc, following a surprise result in a referendum last year.

"No one will face a cliff edge," was May's message to EU leaders, according to the British official.

May reportedly told her EU counterparts that the more than 3 million EU citizens currently living in Britain will be given a chance to settle their status and gain British citizenship.

The offer includes equal treatment as British citizens when it comes to health care, education, benefits and pensions.

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