The headline to Henry Smith MP’s article, ‘The EU must make the same guarantees as us’, begs the question, ‘Why?’, and is also predicated on a falsehood.
Why ‘must’ the EU make the same guarantees as us? What arrogance. In his article, he states that, ‘Government policy is to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already in the UK’. Not so. The EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill says nothing of the sort. Section 6 says, ‘We want to secure the status of EU citizens who are already living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in other member states, as early as we can’. During the debate in the House of Commons, a proposed amendment seeking to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK was defeated by the Government. Trying to somehow shift the blame for this situation on to European partners is disingenuous to say the least. The EU has repeatedly said that they cannot and will not negotiate until Article 50 is invoked. We have initiated this situation and we should be demonstrating those much vaunted British values of fairness and compassion by unilaterally guaranteeing EU citizens’ status. We could then occupy the moral high ground in forthcoming negotiations rather than using these people as negotiating counters.
T A Brady
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