The Committee of British in Italy met the Italian Brexit “sherpas”, Marco Piantini and Pier Luigi D’Elia, at Palazzo Chigi on November 22nd, together with a representative of the3million. Piantini and D’Elia had clearly read the British in Europe papers on the negotiations carefully and followed our lobbying activities. They made it clear that for Italy citizens’ rights was the most important of the issues currently being negotiated, not least because of the number of Italians in the UK. But they also recognised the different concerns of UK citizens in Europe. They did not want the negotiations to move on to Phase 2 unless the Phase 1 agreement was sustainable and credible with citizens’ rights (for Italians in UK) spelt out clearly and reciprocity for British citizens in the EU. However, they clearly felt that the negotiations over citizens rights had been complicated by the contradictory signals from London, although May’s Florence speech had been helpful. They clearly back the EU’s ‘red lines’ on EU citizens’ rights in the UK. We didn’t get clear backing for our (UK citizens in EU) right to freedom of movement beyond our current EU countries of residence. And it appears likely we will lose our right to vote in local elections. The voting issue will probably become a matter for bilateral negotiations between the UK and the EU member states.
In their words……we didn’t want this!