Time to write to your MP about Boris Johnson’s broken promise about our citizens’ rights.

First published in August 2019.

Vote Leave, 2016.

Do you remember the citizens’ rights promise above? We do!

During the 2016 referendum campaign, Boris Johnson promised that our citizens’ rights would automatically be granted. This promise has been betrayed, but things can still change. A first step is writing to your MP this summer (please read on, a letter/email template is provided at the end).

Why is this important?

Brexit is a massive, unprecedented betrayal for both British citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. During the 2016 referendum campaign, Mr Johnson promised that the rights of EU citizens would be fully guaranteed and protected. This promise has been betrayed by the ‘unsettled status’ scheme which requires people to apply to stay in their homes.

No scheme in the world has ever managed to inform 100% of the people targeted. There will be hundreds of thousands of people who will fail to apply by the deadline through no fault of their own, and become illegal overnight.

The 2016 promise “there will be no change for EU citizens” could soon become ‘Windrush on steroids’.

What can I do?

The promise made by the Prime Minister in 2016 has been broken, and we need your help. Please write to your MP over the summer to remind them of Boris’ promise and ask them to fulfil it.

If you can, follow-up with a phone call to their constituency office.

It does not matter how your MP stands on Brexit – a vast majority of British citizens and MPs agree that our rights should be protected. MPs have the power to do this by guaranteeing our rights in law.

The UK Parliament has closed for the summer, but MPs will still check their mailboxes. So why not tell them about your story?

You can remind them that during his leadership campaign, Boris Johnson said that “entrenching” EU citizens’ rights would be the first thing on his agenda.

It is time to ask your MP to push for EU citizens’ rights to be enshrined in primary legislation. Only this way we can rest assured these rights are there not only for the short-term but also legally enforceable under the current and future governments.

How do I write to my MP?

An easy way to send a letter to your MP is through the website: writetothem.com. If you are looking for inspiration on what to write, we created a template (download it here) – but you are free to change whatever you want to suit your situation and tone. The more personal, the better.🔷


During the referendum campaign Mr Johnson, Ms Patel and Mr Gove promised EU citizens: No change & Automatic right to stay. Now that they are in power, it is time to remind them with one simple postcard:

Simply print, cut out and send it. [enlarge here]


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 could not 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 and re-published in PMP Magazine on 11 August 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Garry Knight. - Boris Johnson. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)