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Dominic Raab on a Brexit deal on citizens’ rights: “As soon as we practically can...”


This week at the Conservative Party Conference, I asked the Secretary of State for Brexit Dominic Raab a question about Citizens Rights.


“Nicolas Hatton of the3million and representing British in Europe. It’s fair to say Brexit has been divisive, but there has been a consensus on citizens’ rights.

In the case of no deal, and god forbids there’s a no deal, would you be ready to go back to Brussels and negotiate just one deal: a deal on citizens’ rights?”

It was not an emphatic reply, unlike the Home Secretary Sajid Javid in his speech to Conference earlier, who said: “We need to you stay, we want you to stay, you can stay.”


Home Secretary’s statement. / YouTube

Instead, Dominic Raab looked slightly uncomfortable and referred back to unilateral guarantees to EU citizens alone, adding “We would do this as soon as we practically can”, without answering the questions about ring-fencing our rights in case of no deal.


The Brexit Secretary’s reply. / YouTube

The difference between a legally binding deal between the UK and the EU and no-deal is significant for both EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU:

Difference between a legally binding deal between the UK and the EU and no-deal for EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU. / Europe Street News

I went to see Dominic Raab after the meeting to find out when the technical notes about EU citizens would be published, and I got a slightly strange reply that we were people so a no-deal ‘technical’ note would not be appropriate.


I asked when we would get a ‘note’ then?

Dominic Raab replied “As I said earlier, it will be as soon as we practically can”.

The Secretary of State was not ready to give me more details or commit to ring-fencing, which makes our mass lobby on Monday 5 November all the more critical.

Register to the lobby / e-lobby using our Eventbrite page. (Please note the slightly earlier start time of 10am.)

On Monday, together with Fiona Godfrey of British in Europe, we also organised a fringe event, in the presence of Charles Tannock MEP, Ben Howlett (former Bath MP and vice chair of the Conservative Group for Europe), Christian Vinante (British Italian Conservatives), Sunder Katwala (British Future) and Kelvin Tanner (Fragomen).

We are live at the Conservative Party Conference for a fringe event on citizens' rights, featuring Charles Tannock MEP, Ben Howlett, Christian Vinante, Sunder Katwala, Kelvin Tanner, Nicolas Hatton and Fiona Godfrey

Geplaatst door the3million op Maandag 1 oktober 2018
Recording of the meeting.

On a more positive note, I now have attended both Labour #LAB18 and Conservative party #CPC18 conferences, and I feel we are as close to obtaining a commitment to a legally binding deal on citizens’ rights as we have ever been since 24 June 2016.


The pro-citizens speech by Manfred Weber (leader of the European People’s Party) in the European Parliament this week was unexpected and shows the momentum is building to protect us in the case of no deal, with a legally binding agreement between the UK and the EU under Article 50.


At the end of the day, it is all thanks to the 100,000s of unknown supporters and followers who are making the3million and British in Europe the most successful citizens’ groups to emerge out of the Brexit referendum.

Thank you. You know who you are :-) 🔷



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Did you know the3million is the leading non-profit organisation of EU citizens in the UK? We are grateful of your support, as we simply couldn’t have campaigned for citizens’ rights over the last 24 months without you. If you can afford it, please become a paying supporter today to allow the campaign to continue for the next 24 months and beyond if necessary: www.the3million.org.uk/join-us

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(This piece was originally published on the3million Newsletter.)


(Cover: the3million - Nicolas Hatton and Dominic Raab.)


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Founder of the3million to protect #citizensrights
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