South East Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds has joined Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, in calling to protect the rights of the UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.
With the British government likely to trigger Article 50 in the coming weeks and negotiations around Britain’s future relationship with the EU about to begin, millions of people across the EU are uncertain and fearful about what the future holds for them.
Last night the Government suffered a damaging Brexit Bill defeat in the House of Lords. This defeat means that the EU Bill will have to return to the House of Commons for further consideration by MPs.
Theresa May has resisted Labour calls for the Government to act unilaterally to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK. It currently looks like the Government will take the issue of rights for EU migrants in the UK and British migrants in the EU into what could be a difficult and unpredictable period of negotiations.
Jeremy has written to leaders of seven European socialist parties, allied to Labour and in government, to lobby, at every level of the EU, for the rights of British citizens abroad and to reaffirm Labour's commitment to the rights of EU residents in the UK.
Meanwhile, in a debate in the European Parliament on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, Anneliese Dodds has urged the British government to give EU citizens living in the UK peace up of mind by upholding their rights to remain in the UK after Brexit.
Anneliese Dodds, Labour MEP for the South East, said:
“I am fearful of what the future might hold for the thousands of EU citizens living in the South East, many who have worked and studied here, contributed to society, contributed to the economy, and started families.
“The Prime Minister herself has said that EU citizens living in the UK make a “vital contribution to our society and economy” and that without their contribution Britain would be “poorer” and public services “weaker”.
“In no sector is this issue more topical than within the NHS and Social Care, with 22,300 EU nationals working as care workers in the South East, that’s 10% of the workforce, and 9,542 NHS workers, 6.1%. The uncertainty surrounding their future represents one of the biggest risk factors facing our NHS.
The Prime Minister needs to act without delay.”