In a rare show of unity on the EU debate, Richard Tice, co-founder of Leave.EU, and Will Straw, chief executive of Britain Stronger In, agreed the Brexit process was “taking too long”.
Appearing on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, the Leaver said the issue of migrants’ rights should have been sorted within the immediate aftermath of last year’s historic vote.
He said: “The whole point about this process is that it’s taking too long, it’s taken far too long for us to get to where we are today about the offer for the EU citizens, that should have been sorted within the first month or two months after the referendum.”
Mr Tice argued the EU should have been “shamed” into coming to an agreement.
When asked why it has taken so long, he said: “Basically because the Conservative Government was willing to make an offer that they’re now making today but the EU said ‘no we’re not ready to start negotiations’.
“To be honest, we should have actually shamed them into it.”
When asked if the Prime Minister should have made assurances anyway, both agreed that she should have.
Mr Tice said: “I said on Question Time last November, that’s what she should have done, it was still available, it’s taken too long, the whole process from here is still taking too long.
“In business, if we were negotiating this, you’d sit down, you’d agree it in a month and you’d put it into lawyers’ hands.”
Mr Straw said it Mrs May’s delayed offer was “outrageous” with it leaving people in “limbo” for the past year.
He said: “Richard and I probably disagree on lots of aspects of the EU debate but [we] completely agree it was outrageous of Theresa May to wait for a year to make this offer about 3million people – these are human beings.”
Mrs May has offered to the EU to allow all 3million of its citizens currently living in the UK to have full residency status.
She said all EU citizens who are legally here can stay and have full access to the NHS, education, benefits and pensions.
She made her offer after a formal dinner at the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday night, and full details will be published on Monday.
June 23rd, 2017: Express