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May to guarantee rights of EU citizens in UK after Brexit

PM Theresa May said she hoped Britain’s exit from the EU would be a smooth process.

FILE: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Prime Minister Theresa May said she hoped Britain's exit from the EU would be a smooth process and that she expected to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already in Britain.

"I expect to be able to guarantee the legal rights of EU nationals already in the UK so long as the British nationals living in Europe receive, in the countries who are member states of the EU, the same treatment," she told reporters during a visit to Denmark on Monday.

She reiterated that she would trigger the formal divorce process from the bloc through Article 50 of the EU Lisbon treaty no later than the end of March next year and added: "I hope it can be a smooth and orderly departure".

May said she wanted the post-Brexit settlement to reflect "the kind of mature, cooperative relationship that close friends and allies have".