In what seems to further worsen the situation, the EU leaders have criticized the UK’s offer to EU nationals after Brexit.
In a statement the European Council President Donald Tusk said the plan was “below expectations” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there had been “no breakthrough”.
Earlier this week, Britain caved in to the EU’s insistence that the fate of citizens in other EU countries must be settled before negotiations on its “future relationship” can begin.
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.
Mr Tusk’s criticism comes after EU citizens in the UK protested that Ms May’s so-called “generous” offer – outlined last night – will leave them with fewer rights than firms trading across borders.
Earlier, former Chancellor George Osborne revealed that Ms May single-handedly blocked a plan to immediately guarantee those future rights last summer.
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.