Guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK.
All EU nationals who have come to live or work or study in Britain should have their rights guaranteed now—full rights, indefinitely.
Anything else means that at least some people will be forcibly removed from Britain, families torn apart, valuable workers lost and there will be even more restrictions on those who are allowed to stay.
Why is this important?
Theresa May has begun the process of Britain leaving the European Union. This raises the question of the rights of EU nationals presently living in Britain, who make a huge contribution to our society.
The government has refused to guarantee these rights, saying it will wait until there is a deal involving British nationals who live in the rest of Europe. But people are not bargaining chips.
The government’s attitude means terrible insecurity for EU nationals and their families. EU nationals who have come to live or work or study in Britain should have their rights guaranteed now —full rights, indefinitely. Anything else means that at least some people will be forcibly removed from Britain, families torn apart, valuable workers lost and there will be even more restrictions on those who are allowed to stay.
Already any EU national applying for proof of residency must now show they have been living and working in Britain for the past five years. They are required to provide documents for every occasion they have left Britain in that period. Those who have not been working must reportedly show they took out comprehensive health insurance—a requirement that was little known until recently.
The government’s refusal to grant workers’ rights is already hitting key services.
Only 96 nurses joined the NHS from other European nations in December 2016 – a drop from 1,304 in July that year. This comes at a time when there are 24,000 nurse vacancies unfilled and the government’s withdrawal of bursaries for trainee nurses is making matters worse.
The government must guarantee EU nationals full rights now.
Lord Peter Hain, David Lammy MP, Claude Moraes MEP, Julie Ward MEP, Ulrike Schmidt, Waltham Forest Amnesty Group, Dr Tommy Tomescu Alliance Against Romanian and Bulgarian discrimination, Weyman Bennett Stand Up To Racism
Sabby Dhalu Stand Up To Racism, Salma Yacoob, anti-war activist Kevin Courtney NUT Gen Sec, Dave Ward CWU Gen Sec, Roger Mckenzie Unison ass Gen Sec, Mick Cash RMT Gen Sec, Ronnie Draper BFAWU Gen Sec, Ian Hodson BFAWU Nat President, Rabbi Lee Wax, Dr Shazad Amin CEO MEND, Dr Lucia Pradella Freedom of Movement Campaign
This statement is featured in today’s Independent online and 30 March daily edition
Like the Stand Up to Racism facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/events/400307423679253/
EU nationals are being used by the government as bargaining chips in “Brexit” negotiations, leaving them with an uncertain future.
The government must confirm their right to stay in the UK with guaranteed rights now.