Britons could pay for EU citizenship after Brexit, says top negotiator

Britons could pay to retain the benefits of European Union citizenship after Brexit under plans being considered by MEPs.

The European parliament’s lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said he supported the principle of the idea, which would see UK citizens sending an annual fee to Brussels.

The former Belgian prime minister said Britons who voted remain did not want to sever their links to the EU.

“Many say ‘we don’t want to cut our links’,” he told the Times. “I like the idea that people who are European citizens and saying they want to keep it have the possibility of doing so. As a principle I like it.”

The proposals were tabled by a liberal MEP from Luxembourg and MEPs will vote on the proposals by the end of the year, but any Brexit deal with the UK would have to have the agreement of the leaders of the other 27 EU nations as well as the parliament.

Andrew Bridgen MP.

Andrew Bridgen warned that the EU will ‘try every trick in the book to stop us leaving’. Photograph: BBC

Brexit-backing Tory MP Andrew Bridgen claimed that these plans were just the EU attempting to undermine the referendum result.

He told the newspaper: “It’s an attempt to create two classes of UK citizen and to subvert the referendum vote. The truth is that Brussels will try every trick in the book to stop us leaving.”