The Irish Government has told Brussels that it is prepared to make changes to its position on EU citizens’ rights to stay in the UK if the two sides can reach a deal to prevent the country from being taken out of the single market.
The Prime Minister had said last week that she was willing to make concessions on citizens’ right to stay but did not give an exact figure.
However, sources close to the Government told The Irish Mirror that this was not yet a final position.
The Irish Government said it would hold a meeting on Wednesday to decide on what kind of arrangements to make to maintain access to the single marketplace for citizens.
The Government has previously said it was prepared to go back to the European Commission for clarification on citizens rights.
This is not a decision which has been taken overnight, but is a result of the work we are doing over the next few weeks and the negotiations which we are engaged in with the European Union and the UK, they have given us a final opinion.
It will be discussed in the coming days and the Government will then consult with stakeholders in the European Parliament and other bodies, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank.
The Taoiseach said in his weekly press conference on Tuesday that she is ready to discuss these matters at the end of the week.
She added that she had been in touch with the EU leaders in the hope of finding a way to make our citizens’ lives more comfortable.
But she said she has been clear that the Government has to be absolutely clear on these issues.
She said the Government would be prepared to take the necessary steps to make these matters as easy as possible.
The issue of citizens’ residence in Ireland was brought to the fore by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that the UK has no obligation to guarantee citizens’ fundamental rights in the EU.
The decision was made after an appeal by the UK Government, which argued that EU citizens are entitled to the right to live and work in the country.
The ECJ has now ruled that citizens of the UK have a fundamental right to freedom of movement, the right not to be discriminated against and the right of access to education and employment.
The UK Government has said it will appeal the decision.
The EU has said that it will not take any further action against Ireland unless the Government agrees to make significant changes to the UK’s access to Europe.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was quoted as saying in his press conference yesterday that the European Government’s decision is “a serious issue and will have serious implications for our citizens and their livelihoods”.
He added that the Irish Government had made its position clear and reiterated that it would be working with other Member States to find solutions.
“The Government of Ireland will continue to work with the Government of the United Kingdom to find a solution for this very serious issue,” he said.