BRUSSELS — The European Parliament’s Brexit point man says he has heard from more than 6,000 people anxious about their rights once Britain leaves the EU and says their plight must be the top priority in negotiations.

Guy Verhofstadt said more than 4 million citizens of EU nations living in Britain and U.K. nationals living elsewhere in Europe want to know what the future holds for them after Brexit in 2019.

Verhofstadt told EU lawmakers Thursday that the challenge is “massive” and that “every case is different and people are anxious.”

He says citizens’ rights must “be the first point on the agenda” when negotiations start following the June 8 British election.

Verhofstadt called for the results of talks to be made public to reassure people.