Lord Frost grilled on rights of British expats in the EU
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Lord Forst has told a meeting of the House of Lords EU Committee that members of the bloc have been slow to roll out ID cards that would enable British nationals to prove entitlement to residency rights. Lord Frost argued the failure of the EU to fix the problem has meant some Brits living in Europe have been blocked from accessing health services and benefits. He argued some members states were saddling ex-pats with “overburdensome” amounts of paperwork.
Lord Frost told peers that the UK government was “closely monitoring” the situation.
He said “If there are problems and there have been problems and they are reducing but problems do still exist in some countries.
“We obviously take that up with the government of that country and we will also raise them in the joint committee,” added Lord Frost.
The Brexit minister continued: “It must be understood that if an EU government does not fulfil its responsibilities under the Withdrawal Agreement then the EU collectively is not fully abiding by the conditions of that withdrawal agreement.”
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Lord Frost continued: “The sorts of problems we get is difficulty evidencing rights for example if members states are slow to roll out the right kind of ID card that evidences that you are a citizen with withdrawal agreement rights.
“Sometimes people from it had to access services, benefits, unemployment benefits, travel benefits, health and so on.
“And occasionally we find still that some governments require overburdensome paperwork from people to acknowledge their rights.
“But in all cases, we are working with them and the situation is improving.”
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However, the peer told the EU Committee that individual members states must comply with the articles of the Withdrawal Agreement.
He said: “I don’t want to downplay it.
“The provisions of the treaty need to be complied with.
“Because they affect citizens lives in Europe and we do our very best to make sure that takes place.”
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