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Sunday October 20th, 2019 6:17PM

The Latest: French president says EU to strengthen borders

By The Associated Press
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BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the European Union summit (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says EU leaders have agreed to reinforce external borders and support Libyan border forces as part of efforts to slow illegal and deadly migration.

Speaking at an EU summit Friday Macron said migration is a long-term challenge and requires common responses.

The EU wants to boost support for conflict-ravaged Libya as the number of people fleeing Africa from there for better lives in Europe continues to rise.

They are stepping up backing for the Libyan coast guard to stop people setting out for international waters in unseaworthy boats

___

2:55 p.m.

European Union chief Donald Tusk says that Britain's offer to ensure the rights of EU citizens after the country leaves the bloc is below expectations and could make things worse for them.

The European Council President told reporters Friday that "citizens' rights are the number one priority for the EU 27" — the member countries that will remain once Britain leaves the bloc in 2019.

He said that "we want to ensure the full rights for EU and U.K. citizens."

Around 3 million EU citizens live in Britain, while some 1.5 million Britons live on the content. Securing guarantees for their future is a key part of the Brexit talks. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that no EU citizen currently living in Britain will be forced to leave.

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1:55 p.m.

The European Parliament's top Brexit official says that the proposals on the rights of EU citizens in Britain once the nation leaves the EU are insufficient.

Guy Verhofstadt wrote that British prime minister "Theresa May's "generous offer" does not fully guarantee the rights for EU citizens living in the UK."

The coordinator for the Brexit negotiations in the legislature said that "unclarity about the cut-off date, family reunification and uncertainty about jurisdiction are not what we are looking for."

May will present a more detailed proposal to her national parliament on Monday.

The opinion of the European parliament is important since the legislature will have to approve any Brexit deal.

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12:20 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's proposals for future rights of EU citizens in Britain have left the 27 other EU leaders with more questions than answers.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said Poland appreciates the proposals but said they're "incomplete," according to the PAP news agency.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Friday "it's too early" to judge her proposals and said the EU needs "more information."

Leaders of Poland, France, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia discussed Brexit and May's proposals at a meeting Friday on the sidelines of the summit.

But they didn't go into details, because French officials insist that the proposals should be discussed at the official Brexit negotiating table and not an EU summit.

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9:30 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is meeting with central and eastern European leaders amid tensions over jobs and resistance to taking in refugees.

The meeting Friday on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels is hitting on two of the most thorny subjects within the EU.

Macron's office says he sought a separate meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Poland's Beata Szydlo, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Some countries, including Hungary and Poland, have refused to take part in a legally binding EU scheme to share refugees after a wave of migrant arrivals strained resources.

Macron said ahead of the summit that countries should suffer consequences for not respecting EU deals, saying Europe is not a "supermarket" where members can choose which rules to respect.

Orban, who has erected a border fence to keep migrants out, said it wasn't fair for Macron to "kick" central European partners.

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8:50 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to reassure European Union nationals living in her country that their futures will be secure once Britain leaves the EU in 2019.

May told reporters Friday that "no one will have to leave. We won't be seeing families split apart "

She said her government is making a "very fair and very serious offer" to her EU counterparts to guarantee the futures of around 3 million European citizens in Britain.

May is due to publish a report on Monday detailing her plans, but she did explain some elements of it to EU leaders late Thursday.

The issue of the rights of EU citizens living in Britain and more than 1.5 million Britons on the continent is a top priority in Brexit talks.

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