The EU too has a responsibility to look after the British citizens in Europe and EU citizens in the UK, the3million write.


First published in September 2019.


We disagree with Mr Bettel. It is not right to solely push the responsibility of citizens’ rights to the UK. The EU too has a responsibility to look after the British citizens living in the EU27 and EU citizens living in the UK. It is equally in the European Union’s hands to safeguard the citizens’ rights.

The 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK and the 1.2 million British citizens in Europe moved across borders in good faith. Trusting that Freedom of Movement meant they could build their futures across 28 countries. It is also up to the EU to not let these 5 million people down.

Freedom of Movement can only work if those citizens who want to rely on it can trust that their rights cannot one day just be removed. This is as much about the Brexit reality now as it is about the integrity of the four EU freedoms in the future.

If either the UK or the EU let the British citizens in Europe or the EU citizens in the UK down now, then there will be 5 million warning voices to any other EU citizens who contemplate relying on Freedom of Movement across the remaining EU27/EFTA.

The UK has offered to ring-fence the rights granted in the Withdrawal Agreement even in the case of a no-deal. It is now time for the European Union to engage with this offer, remove any hurdles and to rescue our rights.🔷


Read more on how ring-fencing will work.


 

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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 17 September 2019, 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.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)



     

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.