There is an amendment going around Westminster to rescue, ring-fence, the citizens’ rights part of the EU/UK withdrawal agreement no matter what Brexit outcome. It has wide support from MPs of all parties, both Leave and Remain.



I’ll get straight to the point: our citizens’ rights are under threat in case of no-deal Brexit, but we have a unique opportunity to safeguard them so please read on, and write to your MP before the Brexit vote next week.

There is one thing I have learnt from the last two and a half years of campaigning for the protection of our rights: it takes time to shift opinions and build a political movement in Parliament, but things can then happen very quickly when the time is right.

Together with British in Europe, we have done three mass lobbies, many grassroots campaigns and succeeded in convincing the Prime Minister we should not have to pay to stay in our own homes.

I say ‘we’, and it includes you, and our friends at In Limbo, EU Citizens’ Champions, UNISON and many other partners who are supporting our cause, because nothing would have happened if MPs, Lords and Baronesses, and MEPs would not have heard from thousands of us in the last 32 months about our worries and anxiety for the future.

Last week, our Parliamentary event in conjunction with JCWI and British Future built on the momentum we created, and we now believe there is a majority in the House of Commons to support the protection of our rights, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

In other words, we think a majority of MPs is now ready to vote on an amendment asking the Prime Minister to go to Brussels to ring-fence our rights. This amendment was drafted by Alberto Costa MP, whose parents moved from Italy to Scotland last century.

Alberto attended our event last week, and understood the urgency and necessity of ring-fencing our rights, and has worked with the3million and British in Europe to draft an amendment which would receive cross-party support when the Prime Minister goes back to the House of Commons next week.


What can I do?

I wrote to all every single MP in the House and I am asking you to write to your MP today too, to make sure they will be supporting the amendment next week. This is pretty much our last chance to get our rights protected in case of no deal.

So please take the time to write that email, and follow-up with a phone call to their office constituency if you can.

It doesn’t matter which way your MP swings regarding Brexit. A vast majority of Brits agree our rights should be protected, and the same is true of MPs, from Remainers such as Anna Soubry to Brexiters such as Jacob Rees-Mogg.


How do I write to my MP?

The easiest way to write to your MP is by using the website Write to them.

If you are unsure about what to write, you can get inspiration from our letter, or you can use this template:

I am writing to you to express my deep concern about no-deal Brexit as an EU citizen in the United Kingdom.

I would like you to make you aware of the Costa amendment, which will be tabled next Wednesday, asking the Prime Minister “to seek at the earliest opportunity a joint UK-EU commitment to adopt part two of the Withdrawal Agreement on Citizens’ Rights and ensure its implementation prior to the UK’s exiting the European Union, whatever the outcome of negotiations on other aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

MPs from across all parties are already supporting the amendment, and I hope you will be too. This is not about Brexit, but about protecting the lives of the three million EU citizens who have made the UK their home.

[INSERT GREETINGS]

Your Name.

I feel we are getting somewhere on citizens’ rights, so let’s share the love one more time.🔷



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 originally published on the3million newsletter. | The author writes in a personal capacity.)


(Cover: the3million.)



     

THE AUTHOR

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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.