LONDON, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Britain and the European Union are within touching distance of resolving the fate of millions of EU citizens living in Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons Monday.
May was giving a report to members of parliament about the latest talks with leaders of the EU member states ahead of Britain's withdrawal in March, 2019.
Speaking about citizen's rights, May said: "Both sides share the same objective of safeguarding the rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU. The negotiations are complicated and deeply technical, but in the end they are about people, and I am determined that we will put people first."
"We are united on the key principles, and while there are a small number of issues that remain outstanding, we are in touching distance of a deal."
The issue is crucial for the estimated 3 million European nationals currently in Britain, as well as British people living in EU states in mainland Europe.
May also insisted there will be no physical infrastructure at the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, adding that the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland will continue.
She told MPs that at last week's EU summit, member states agreed to start their preparations for moving negotiations onto trade and the future relationship.
May said she is ambitious and positive about Britain's future and the negotiations.
"I believe that by approaching these negotiations in a constructive way -- in a spirit of friendship and co-operation -- we can and will deliver the best possible outcome that works for all our people," she said.
But May insisted that the British government continued to prepare for every eventuality, and the so-called "no deal" scenario.
May concluded her statement: "While we must and will prepare for every eventuality, I am confident that we will do so in a smooth and orderly way and that we will be able to negotiate a new, deep and special partnership between a sovereign United Kingdom and our friends in the European Union. That is my mission."
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, was critical about the length of times talks were taking and the lack of progress.
He told MP: "We are still no clearer on when negotiations on the future relationship with our largest trading partner will begin."