For immediate release - BREXIT DEAL FAILS FIVE MILLION PEOPLE
Citizens’ rights groups the3million and British in Europe have reacted with anger and disappointment after the Brexit negotiators failed to deliver their promise to agree a deal that would allow people to carry on living their lives in exactly the same manner as before Brexit.
Despite good progress at the early stage of the negotiations, the talks stalled when the focus switched to the Irish border, with crucial issues such as freedom of movement for British citizens in Europe and lifelong rights to return remaining unsolved in the agreement presented by Theresa May last night.
Key concerns that have not been met:
- British in Europe – losing free movement, which our members rely on for work and family.
- 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK have to pay to apply to stay in their home, will undergo systematic criminality checks and can lose the new status if family or work obligations mean they have to leave the country for five years.
Chair of the3million Nicolas Hatton said:
“the3million feels betrayed by the Brexit negotiators. Despite early progress in the negotiations, over three million EU citizens in the UK, including 700,000 EU children, are now facing a lifelong limbo under the Withdrawal Agreement.
We are still bargaining chips, as the negotiators will soon discuss the future relationship, with our lives still in the balance. As a reminder, the Withdrawal Agreement does not protect our existing rights, and shamefully creates more insecurity by allowing the Home Office to pick and choose the EU citizens they want to keep.”
Jane Golding, Co-Chair of British in Europe said: “We were told in March that citizens’ rights were a done deal and that discussions on this would not be re-opened. However it is clear from the text that some changes have in fact been made, meaning that it is unacceptable and upsetting that free movement – a lifeline for many of us - has been excluded when both sides knew it was critical for us.
Brexit Secretaries come and Brexit Secretaries go. But unlike Dominic Raab our members don't have the luxury of walking away from this mess. His resignation only adds to the uncertainty that millions of people have been experiencing for two years. It is now up to the European Parliament, not only to walk the talk on its red lines – free movement in our case – but to put pressure on all sides to ring-fence the agreement on citizens’ rights so that 4.6 million people can sleep at night now whatever happens on Brexit."
A fuller analysis will follow in due course.
You can use this picture, from the Human chain to Downing Street we formed last week https://we.tl/t-s5kf2ATIkX (credit: Marcus Rose)
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact us at:
+44 7967 627808
British in Europe
+32 497 409 884
For immediate release - A cross-party group of MPs are calling on the UK government to honour its agreement on citizens' rights under Article 50, in case of a no-deal Brexit
The call comes on a day of action branded the last mile citizens' lobby on Monday 5th November, which is organised by the3million, British in Europe and UNISON.
The day will see EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU forming a human chain from Parliament Square to 10 Downing Street to deliver a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May with their demands.
There will also be a rally in Parliament Square and a mass lobby of MPs in Parliament.
The human chain will include social care workers, nurses, unpaid carers and other people who could fall victim to the Hostile Environment if their rights are not secured in a no-deal scenario.
Press photographers are invited to cover the human chain, due to its high visual impact.
the3million and British in Europe believe that a no-deal Brexit is simply not an option for them.
The many reciprocal guarantees over citizens' rights, such as pensions rights, access to healthcare or social care agreed in the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU would no longer apply, nor would the lifelong guarantees offered by a treaty, within the current context of Windrush.
Therefore, the3million, British in Europe and UNISON are asking the Government to implement the chapter on citizens' rights in the draft Withdrawal Agreement under Article 50, in the event of no-deal. Their demand is supported by a number of cross-party MPs including Dominic Grieve QC, Conservative MP and former Attorney General.
Addressing the mass lobby in Parliament, he will way: "Fairness, common sense and mutual interest all dictate the rights of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in Europe should be protected after Brexit. I entirely support those who are campaigning to ensure that this happens."
Paul Blomfield, Labour MP and shadow Brexit minister will say:
"A significant amount of the anxiety EU nationals in the UK and British citizens in the EU are experiencing about their futures could be alleviated by the UK Government seeking agreement with the EU that they will honour their agreement on citizens' rights, even in the event of no deal."
Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat MP will say:
"The millions of EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living elsewhere in the EU cannot just be left to cross their fingers and hope Theresa May secures a deal that guarantees their rights. These five million people have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for more than two years now. The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must guarantee - in law - the rights of all EU citizens in the UK, no matter the outcome of the negotiations."
SNP Spokesperson for Justice and Home Affairs, Joanna Cherry MP will say:
"Unilateral guarantees by the UK government are not enough to reassure people that their lives will continue as before. In the event of a no-deal, cliff-edge Brexit the UK and EU have a duty to make citizens' rights their first priority and honour what has already been jointly agreed."
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas will say: "EU citizens who've built their lives in the UK and Brits who've settled across Europe will feel the impact of a chaotic Brexit more keenly than anyone else. Their futures should have been secured two years ago. Instead our Prime Minister has repeatedly used them as human bargaining chips and failed to put her warm words about their fate into cast-iron legal commitments. The Government and the EU must urgently make an irreversible promise to protect people's rights no matter what the outcome of the negotiations."
Dave Prentis UNISON General Secretary will say: "The only 'certainty' about Brexit so far is uncertainty for everyone who works in our public services. For the three million EU citizens living and working here, their fear of the future and what it holds is very real.
The government's guarantee doesn't make EU nationals feel any more welcome here. Ministers need to do more to reassure them that they're wanted and needed. Otherwise our public services will pay the price as many feel they've no option but to up sticks and opt for friendlier climes."
MPs and representatives from the3million, British in Europe and UNISON are available for interviews.
Stephanie Binder, Communications Manger, IMiX +44 7867470803
Nicolas Hatton, CEO and co-founder, the3million +44 7958 22 83 25
Jane Golding, co-chair, British in Europe, +49 171 148 7159
Liz Chinchen, Head of media, UNISON, +44 20 7121 5463
On the day, please follow this special Twitter account for real-time updates and picture:
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
What's happening on the day?
10:00 Citizens gathering on Parliament Square
10:45 Human chain to Downing Street with letter handed out to to the door at No.10
11:00 Short rally on Parliament Square before going to Parliament
13:00 - 16.00 Main lobby starts in Parliament (Committee Rooms 10 & 12)
13.30 - 14.30 Statements by MPs from all parties in support of the campaign
14:30 - 16.00 EU citizens meet their MP - take a photo for social media, sign the pledge 16.00 Lobby in Parliament ends