The3million’s response to Theresa May giving EU citizens a post-Brexit unilateral guarantee even in the event of a no-deal.
A couple of days ago, Theresa May spoke to the press after a rather disastrous Salzburg summit and unexpectedly gave us a unilateral guarantee:
“[...] even in the event of no-deal your rights will be protected.”
EU citizens took out the streets across the UK and celebrated till the early hours their newfound freedom after two years of being in limbo and heads must be sore this morning.
I am only joking — when I asked our Forum members yesterday whether they felt reassured, less than 1 in 10 did, citing the lack in trust we have in this Government.
Having said that, this is positive, and it’s one step in the right direction. It clears the way for further negotiations on citizens’ rights with Brussels, with the view to improve and implement the Draft Withdrawal Agreement regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.
In other words, the Brexit negotiations could fail (i.e. no deal), but the article 50 procedure could still deliver a treaty to protect the rights of the five million EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU and honour the promises made to us during the referendum campaign and by the Brexit negotiators on both sides.
Last year, our EU legal expert Stijn Smismans explained in this article how this procedure would be possible, and political commentators are calling for the ring-fencing of citizens’ rights using the Article 50 procedure.
This is very important, because many of our rights are of a bilateral nature, such as access to social security and healthcare, pension rights, and recognition of qualifications, and as one of the five million, I want to live under the protection of a treaty (like now) for my peace of mind until the end of my days.
The alternative is not reassuring, even with Theresa May’s unilateral guarantee, as illustrated by Brexit negotiator Dominic Raab talking about our rights in a no-deal scenario on LBC this week.
Our British friends in Europe are also in trouble, and it is difficult to understand why Theresa May did not mention them in her speech. They are left wondering what their future is going to be in the case of no-deal and told her in no uncertain terms how they felt in this letter.
This makes #thelastmile citizens’ lobby on Monday 5 November all the more critical. Together with British in Europe, we will form a human chain to Number 10 in the morning, before a short rally in Parliament Square leading to our third and final mass lobby of Parliament in the afternoon. There will be an e-lobby for those who cannot attend in person.
Please register here to take part and receive updates.
Together, we must fight for our rights before the final decisions are made.🔷
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(This piece was originally published on The3million Newsletter.)