After Boris Johnson shared his ‘concerns’ over EU citizens’ rights in the UK, the3million responded by explaining why ring-fencing bilateral rights instead is the only way to protect citizens rights on both sides of the Channel.

• On Thursday, the former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted about his ‘concerns’ that EU citizens living in Britain are currently being used as bargaining chips to negotiate with the EU instead of being given guarantees and protection by the British Government.
• Boris Johnson’s tweet came just 24 hours before his big speech at the headquarters of JCB in Rocester.

Dear Mr Johnson,

We greatly appreciate your concern over the citizens’ rights of EU citizens in the UK and we truly believe you want to do the right thing.

We would like you to consider to go further than just enshrining the citizens’ rights of EU citizens into UK law now. Unilaterally legislating for rights does have several disadvantages and will not achieve rights as per the Withdrawal Agreement, similar to the one you are saying you want to provide.

A unilateral guarantee does help reduce the concern of the 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK but it does not help the 1.2 million British citizens living in the European Union.

In addition, a unilateral citizens’ rights guarantee does not cover the bilateral elements of either the 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK or the 1.2 million British citizens in the EU. Including crucial elements of social security coordination, including pension aggregation.

MEPs from across different parties have written to the EU Presidents to urge them to work together with the UK Government to ring-fence the bilateral citizens’ rights part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

MEPs letter to the EU Presidents.

This included the Conservative MEP Charles Tannock who might be a good contact to get the ball rolling on both sides of the channel to come to a meaningful and final conclusion to end this uncertainty over citizens’ rights.

After all, during the referendum, you promised us EU citizens that nothing would change and that we would be “treated no less favourably than at at present”. Only a bilateral agreement can deliver at least some of that for EU citizens in the UK and the British citizens in Europe.🔷

Vote Leave 2016.

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.

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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.)

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(Cover: Flickr/EU2017EE Estonian Presidency/Annika Haas - Boris Johnson. | 7 Sep 2017. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)



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the3million is the largest group of EU citizens in the UK, with a team of 50-ish active volunteers working on advocacy, policy, legal, media, social media, grassroots and events.