LONDON, March 10 The lead Brexit negotiator for
the European Parliament wants to ensure that Britons can retain
the benefits of European Union citizenship after the UK leaves
the block, he told BBC radio on Friday.
Guy Verhofstadt said last year's Brexit vote was a tragedy
for both the UK and the EU but said he hoped to convince
European leaders to allow Britons to retain a number of rights
if they were applied for on an individual basis.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50
of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty to launch two years of
divorce talks later this month.
Verhofstadt noted that all British citizens as EU citizens
currently enjoy benefits such as consular aid, participation in
European elections and freedom of travel.
"We need to have an arrangement in which this arrangement
can continue for those citizens who on an individual basis are
requesting it," he said.
Verhofstadt also said there were several issues on which the
European Parliament was not prepared to compromise and he warned
it could use its power to veto any deal it did not like.
(Writing by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)