Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has welcomed comments made by the Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the rights of EU nationals living in the UK, and has called on European leaders to give assurances to British nationals living in the EU.
The comments come after EU leaders met in Brussels for the first summit since Brexit negotiations formally began.
Mr Nicholson said:
"The Prime Minister's assurances about the status of EU migrants living in the UK is an important first step. Those who have come here to live and work in our communities are valued, and they have not deserved the uncertainty they have faced over the past 12 months.
"Equally, British nationals living in the other 27 EU Member States have also faced the same uncertainty, and they also deserve concrete assurances from European leaders.
"The negotiations regarding our exit from the European Union will not be easy, and for a good deal to be agreed there needs to be goodwill on both sides. It is vital that the issue of citizens' rights is settled with a fair arrangement as soon as possible, and I welcome that steps are being made in that direction.
“Given the range of issues that will be covered during the Brexit negotiations, and what is at stake for both the UK and the EU27, it is crucial that the negotiators get this right."