European leaders have criticised the UK’s offer to EU nationals after Brexit – with one senior figure claiming it could “worsen the situation” for them.
European Council President Donald Tusk said the plan was “below expectations” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there had been “no breakthrough”.
Theresa May conceded there were differences between the two sides.
But the prime minister said those who had “made their lives and homes” in the UK would have their rights guaranteed.
She also suggested that while rights would be enforced by British courts, they could also be enshrined in international law if the agreement was included in the final treaty of withdrawal.
Both the UK and the rest of the EU say they want to come to an arrangement to secure the status of the 3.2 million EU citizens in the UK and the estimated 1.2 million Britons living in EU countries.
Under plans announced on Thursday by Mrs May, the UK envisages giving all EU citizens the right to stay after the UK’s exit – due on 30 March 2019 – and granting those resident for at the least five years the same rights to welfare, pensions and education as UK citizens.