Groups representing EU citizens living in Britain and UK citizens living in Europe today announced a mass lobby of MPs on Wednesday, 13 September to pressure the government to permanently guarantee all their rights post-Brexit.
The announcement comes as negotiations on Britain’s Brexit settlement continue in Brussels, without an agreement on citizens’ rights having been reached. The issue is earmarked as a first priority in the talks.
The lobby will also see a rally in central London, expected to draw in thousands of EU and UK citizens concerned that their rights remain at risk. It is being supported by Unison, Migrants’ Rights Network, Another Europe is Possible and European Alternatives.
The Government published a document setting out its offer to EU citizens in the UK earlier this month. However, under the plans, EU citizens would lose many of the rights they have now, including the ability to leave the country for extended periods of time, for example to care for an elderly relative.
the3million and British in Europe are asking for an offer which would allow them to continue to live their lives as they were before Brexit, with their rights permanently guaranteed in full and with a standalone agreement independent of the main negotiations.
Commenting, Nicolas Hatton, founding director of the3million, said:
“The Government should guarantee the right of EU citizens living in the UK to remain in the UK after Brexit and retain all their current rights for their lifetime.
“We are not asking for special treatment. We came to Britain, a country we love, knowing that certain guarantees were in place. Now, following Brexit, those guarantees could be removed, despite the fact that the British government promised this wouldn’t happen.
“This mass lobby will take that message to the heart of Parliament. We hope that MPs will see sense and realise that it’s not right to change the rules of the game after the match has started.”
Jane Golding, chair of British in Europe, said:
“The EU has said it’s willing to guarantee the rights of UK citizens living in Europe, so pushing for a matching agreement on EU citizens’ rights would be good for everyone.
“We entirely support the calls for EU citizens’ rights to be guaranteed in full, just as we are asking for the same for our rights. We are not asking for too much and we aren’t asking for anything new for ourselves or EU citizens in the UK. All we want is to carry on as we were.
“We call on the government to act now and put an end to the uncertainty that has been hanging over us for a year and over the lives of the three million EU citizens who have made the UK their home.”
Notes to editors
The mass lobby will take place on 13th September from 2pm. Details, including registration, are available here: https://mass-lobby-eu-uk-citizens.eventbrite.co.uk
Maike Bohn, Media Relations – 07967 627808 / firstname.lastname@example.org
the3million is an EU citizens action group formed after the Brexit referendum to protect the lives of the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK. With over 34,000 members, it has become a key stakeholder in the Brexit negotiations with the British Government and the European Union
About British in Europe
British in Europe British in Europe is a coalition of 11 UK citizens’ groups based across the EU: Bremain in Spain, Brexpats Hear our Voice, BRILL, The British Community Committee of France, British in Germany, British in Italy, ECREU, EuroCitizens, Europats, Fair Deal for Expats, RIFT (Remain in France Together). It is a grassroots, volunteer movement and its members now number around 30,000. Like the3million, it is a key stakeholder in the Brexit negotiations with the UK government, the European Union and other EU countries.