To move past issue of EU nationals’ rights, the UK must find a way to negotiate with Europeans that doesn’t gets their backs up

Of the many thorny challenges standing between Britain and the EU exit door, providing rescue for citizens was meant to be the least prickly one to deal with. Within days of last year’s shock referendum result, almost all politicians agreed that the people who had built their lives on the promise of an open border should not find themselves stranded when it slammed shut.

There can be few better indications of how much work remain to be done by Brexit negotiators than the lukewarm reaction to a UK proposal on citizens’ rights that finally provides some of this security. No one would argue that the offer is ideal. Critics point to the absence of many of the rights currently enjoyed by all EU citizens. But perhaps the most glaring issue is the absence of trust.

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