The independent London newspaper

We must fight for the rights of EU citizens

07 April, 2017

• AFTER Article 50 was triggered 3.3 million European Union citizens in the United Kingdom and up to 1.6 million UK citizens living in Europe have been turned into bargaining chips.

They came here under freedom of movement and were denied a vote in the EU referendum, and are now in limbo worrying about their futures.

One million EU citizens live in London alone. They are Londoners, they contribute hugely to our economic, social, cultural life. They have partners, friends and family in the UK.

They deserve to be left in no doubt that they will be able to continue living here.

The prime minister said “early priority” yet stopped short here and not offering a cast iron guarantee. Equally, the EU should offer the same guarantee to UK citizens living on the continent. These are people ought not to be bargaining chips.

The government must end this now. The UK didn’t vote to treat migrants as second class citizens, yet migrants’ voices have clearly not been heard.

We have some 36,000 EU nationals (2015 figures ) living in the City of Westminster, so we must ask the council to call on the government to immediately and unconditionally secure the rights of EU migrants, their families and dependents.

If we fail to support EU citizens in the fight to defend their rights, we will fail to protect the rights upon which our futures depend as well.



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