Writer and EU citizen Nyla Nox wrote an open letter to the 27 EU Leaders (among them Michel Barnier, Guy Verhofstadt, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and many MEPs.). PMP Magazine publishes the letter in its integrality today.
First published in November 2018.
Dear fellow citizens,
The draft agreement that you, the EU, entered into with the British government yesterday puts the rights of EU citizens in the UK in grave danger. We have been betrayed, by the UK and by the EU. Your agreement sends a message that EU citizens exercising Freedom of Movement will not be protected in the case of an unforeseen crisis. We are an afterthought, when we should be first. But: EU leaders are only elected citizens, we are just like you.
You have abandoned us to a brutal government. Our suffering is partly your responsibility.
The brutal treatment of the 5 million will be forever a shameful part of EU history. We all have family, friends, communities who suffer with us, who know our story and who will not be silenced. Our Exodus and subsequent deportations will be drawn out over many years and touch the lives of many more millions.
You will feature in those stories as one of the EU leaders who abandoned us to this fate.
We will have to apply and pay to stay in our own homes (the so-called ‘settled status’ which is not really settled and whose status can be changed at any time by the Home Office without consulting the British parliament). We have to apply to the Home Office with its Hostile Environment policy that has already deported many British citizens such as the Windrush people and operates an active ‘rewards for rejections’ policy among its staff.
We will not even have the right to see our own data so we won’t know why we have been rejected. The current error rate (rejection due to Home Office mistake) is over 10%. In your agreement, you bring back the retroactive CSI rule that the UK should be exempt from because of the NHS. This will mean that thousands, probably tens of thousands of EU citizens will be rejected and deported.
I appeal to you, even at this late stage, to offer the UK government a unilateral guarantee for every EU citizen in the UK who is here before the end of the transition period.
The UK government is celebrating the end of FoM, publicly, in parliament, right now. This is a humanitarian crisis.
Show the world and every EU citizen what the EU is made of.
Give this government an EU guarantee for each and every one of your citizens and negotiate that we can stay under this guarantee, simply by declaring our intention to do so. (If there are any problems with individual EU citizens, the EU will take responsibility and do whatever is necessary, but all of us get to stay under your special protection or protectorate). This is the only way to prevent the human rights violations that your agreement sets in motion.
Yes, this is a new idea. It has never happened before.
But freedom of movement is also a new idea that has never happened before. We are among the millions of pioneers who created the new integrated Europe of citizens.
The brutal punishment that you now agreed to allow will be part of the history of freedom of movement in Europe and will be a warning to every EU citizen in the EU. Don’t take your freedoms seriously, the EU will not protect you.
Human rights are the highest values.
I have always believed the EU to be a union of peace and human rights.
Our brutal fate negates all this.
You are doing this to 5 million people and their families. There are many EU countries that have a population of less than 5 million.
You always said you would help us.
You have betrayed and abandoned us. The story of the betrayal of the 5 million, of hundreds of thousands being deported or forced to self-deport will be in films, novels, poems, videos, operas for many many years. It will be a dark part of the EU story.🔷
Anette Pollner/Nyla Nox (my pen name),
Writer, translator, actor, proud EU citizen forever.
ps. I am a member of various organisations such as In Limbo, Forum for EU citizens, People’s Vote etc. but I am writing not on their behalf, but as a proud and loyal EU citizen who cannot understand your betrayal of the highest values of the EU, and of me. I am a human being, just like you. I don’t deserve this.
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