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  1. ITV Report

Leave voters react to Brexit deal's guarantee for EU citizens in UK

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

The deal on the first phase of Brexit negotiations reached between the European Union and the UK guarantees the rights' of EU citizens in the UK.

Those living in Britain when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 will have the right to stay, and bring their relatives to the country as well.

Currently there are three million EU citizens living and working in the UK, and the deal will also protect the rights of those who are yet to be granted permanent residency in the UK so that they can still acquire it after withdrawal.

The guarantees outlined in the deal document will also apply to UK citizens living in countries within the union.

However, many people who voted leave, did so because they wanted to cut immigration.

Another reason many people voted for Brexit was to "take back control" of the UK from the EU, yet the deal also states that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will continue to have a role in overseeing EU citizens' rights in the UK for eight years after withdrawal.

In Stoke-on-Trent, a city which voted almost 70% in favour of leaving the European Union in the June 2016 referendum, that meant getting out altogether.

Angered at the deal's stipulation that EU residents in the UK will still be able to bring their relatives to the country post-Brexit, one woman told ITV News she feared immigration would continue to rise.

Many voted to leave the EU as they wanted to decrease immigration numbers. Credit: ITV News

"It doesn't stop at the couple that are coming in, does it?", she asked.

"They can bring others in, and others in, and others in."

Yet for those that the decision will affect most - EU citizens living and working in the UK - the deal on the first phase of talks does not give them all of the guarantees which they require.

"We all worry," Tomasz Putynkowski, a business owner in the Staffordshire city explained.

Tomasz Putynkowski is worried about his business post-Brexit. Credit: ITV News

He continued that he had not signed a permanent lease for his cosmetics shop as he did not know how trade would be affected post-Brexit, since trade and transition will be covered in the next phase of talks.

"I don't want to sign for something I will not have," Mr Putynkowski said of his business and the ability to trade after March 2019, adding he did not want to commit to something that might not "be able to survive here".