The loss of the freedom to live, work and study.
We often see posts, usually from those living in the UK, which talk about freedom of movement throughout the EU in terms of economic migrants or how it mainly benefits the neoliberal corporations, giving them a cheap source of labour.
There’s a much bigger dimension and one which needs to be made clear. Brexit could lose all British people so much.
We live in France but have the freedom to live in any one of 28 countries, …without the need for registration or visas, where every European citizen is entitled to health care, work, and the simplicity of free movement. We can get in the car and drive throughout the whole of the European continent, no borders, no passport controls, in fact as long as you abide by the laws of the country and can support yourself, you are free to stay.
Our children and grandchildren can live work and study in any one of those countries. We have 27 different cultures on our doorstep, and one currency if we stay within the Euro-zone.
This has been a growing reality for more than 40 years and Brexit, especially with the way the UK is approaching the negotiations, threatens to take all of that away.
The countries of Europe will lose just one country, the UK, we and every British person stands to lose 27 countries and everything those countries have to offer. Yes Europe needs to change, but leaving Europe is a regressive step from integration and a huge cultural and educational loss for so many future British people and for nothing more than some misguided idea that it will be better for the UK.
This response to the UK government’s ‘fair and serious’ proposals on citizens’ rights re the UK leaving the EU, prepared by the coalition groups British in Europe and the 3 Million which represent British people living in the EU27 countries, shows how shockingly amateurish the UK government’s paper is, and makes it clear why it will be deservedly rejected by the EU.
- The UK proposal does not respond to the comprehensive offer made by the EU on 23 May to guarantee the vast majority of our rights, but instead represents an entirely different form of offer founded in UK law.
- Given this, when comparing the two proposals, it is not possible to compare like with like and thus the application of the principle of reciprocity is complicated.
- The proposal lacks detail on safeguarding the rights of UK citizens in the EU.
- The EU offer set out in the EU negotiating directives, on the other hand, would guarantee the vast majority of the rights that UK citizens in the EU currently have. This should be the starting point for the UK government in its negotiations with the EU in order to protect the rights of UK citizens in the EU, subject to certain clarifications.
- The offer set out in the UK proposal for EU citizens in the UK represents the substitution of acquired rights of EU citizenship under EU law, with a lesser status of “settled status”, for which EU citizens would be required to apply.
- In particular, EU citizens would no longer benefit from the same family
reunification rights, or the overarching principle of equal treatment.
- In addition, the position on other rights such as pensions, healthcare, rights to work, rights of establishment and mutual recognition of qualifications require clarification.
- Any definitive agreement on citizens’ rights needs to be ring-fenced from the rest of the Article 50 negotiations if our current anxiety and uncertainty are to be brought to an end, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.