Expat Brits in EU slam Theresa May’s Friday speech

Published:  25 Sep at 3 PM
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Campaigners for UK expats rights as well as the expats themselves are furious over May’s promise to protect the post-Brexit rights of EU citizens in the UK whilst ignoring the rights of British citizens in Europe.

British expatriates living in Europe as well as campaign groups fighting for their rights are dismissing May’s Friday speech as ‘disgraceful’ for its avoidance of any mention of the plight of British citizens overseas. During her speech, the Prime Minister reassured EU workers in the UK their post-Brexit rights would be protected, even in the event of a no-deal exit. In addition, Downing Street confirmed further details of the guarantee would soon follow.

In a response to the PM’s total refusal to even acknowledge the fears of British citizens living, retiring or working in European member states, campaign group British in Europe’s chairperson Jane Golding told it like it is in a letter to May, accusing her of negotiating away the rights of British expats, refusing to meet with the campaign group and completely ignoring UK expats at this critical time. We are, she said, and will remain British citizens to whom you have obligations, and we expect our government and you to honour and respect those obligations.

British in Europe is now calling on May and chief negotiator Michel Barnier to ringfence and remove the deal on citizens from the reminder of the negotiations, a position also held by the 3 Million lobby group campaigning for the rights of Britons in Europe. Founder of the 3 Million group Nicolas Hatton agrees with the need for a ringfenced deal on the rights of Britons in Europe, but also warns that an EU-wide deal or a number of bilateral agreements would be necessary to retain employment and social rights, including the recognition of professional qualifications and pension payments.
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