Letter to Dominic Raab

The ‘no-deal’ scenario appears to be becoming more likely so  we wrote to Dominic Raab in conjunction with the3million regarding the position of UKinEU and EUinUK. He was then demoted in the negotiation team so we hope he passes it on to Theresa May…

Dear Secretary of State,

We write as the largest groups of EU27 citizens in the UK (the3million) and of UK citizens in the EU27 countries (British in Europe).

We were naturally very pleased to hear your remarks on the Andrew Marr show to the effect that, now that No Deal is a serious possibility, both sides ought to be trying to reassure citizens on the continent and in the UK, and that in the event of No Deal the Government would act swiftly to secure the legal position of EU nationals in the UK.

We fully support your call for that reassurance.  From the outset of the negotiations we have been pressing the parties to agree that any agreement on Citizens’ Rights be “ring-fenced” – ie not be dependent on agreement being reached on other matters.  The case for this to be done now is overwhelming, and nothing short of this course can reassure the British and EU27 citizens most directly affected by the forthcoming withdrawal.  The  very citizens, of course, who have been promised by both sides at the outset that they were the first priority in the negotations, but whose anxiety is now at its highest level ever.

However, it will not be at all reassuring if the affected citizens have to wait until March 29th for governments in the UK or the EU27 to begin to “secure their legal position”.  As you know the subject of Citizens’ Rights is not merely a matter of immigration status, but involves far more complex issues of fundamental importance to us all.   The existing draft Agreement on Citizens’ Rights was the subject of months of negotiations, and included a number of topics which depend on agreement being reached between the two sides – such matters as health care, aggregation of pension contributions and recognition of qualifications, to name but a few.

We therefore call upon the Government to heed your call for reassurance in the only way in which it can, and to propose to its EU counterparts an urgent agreement on ring-fencing Citizens Rights.

We appreciate that in the past both sides have been reluctant tactically to agree to ring-fencing, but tactical considerations must now give way to the overwhelming need to provide reassurance.  There can no longer be any argument that it is tactically unwise to contemplate No Deal for fear of suggesting that one is not negotiating seriously, as both sides are now publicly contemplating exactly that scenario.  Nor is there any justification for either side to hold agreement on Citizens’ Rights as an ace up its sleeve in case it can be traded for some other benefit – each side has rightly claimed the moral high ground, namely that what matters is reaching an agreement that protects the rights of over the 4.5 million people unwittingly caught up in Brexit.

Yours sincerely,

Download the pdf here.

8 thoughts on “Letter to Dominic Raab”

  1. Once again, thank you for doing this on beahlf of such a large group (of which I am one).

    The last few words ” unwittingly caught up in Brexit” make a good point. I would have added “unwillingly” as well.

  2. We’ve been dispatriated, all 800 thousand BIEs! Me;UK born and bred. worked in UK, France, Germany, Holland and Belgium (as I was educated to do). I still carry UK passport but didn’t get a vote on Brexit! Now May is unconcerned about the validity of our passports and @DCBMEP is calling us traitors? How provincial and old you all sound (yes, Corbyn too!)! and EU realtors are kept busy finding foreign homes for UK city types who are getting ready to escape the asylum!

  3. It is of the first importance to keep on keeping on about this– thank you. It should never be forgotten that the rights ‘we’ acquired as a result of the EU accession are Human Rights – and yet throughout they have been treated, on all sides, as simply transient and negotiable. One is always wary about extreme language but sometimes I think of becoming effectively stateless as a result of this unparalleled – maybe inhuman- mismanagement. Even now Rabb as you point out is talking of a “War Cry”. If these negotiations had been approached in a constructive intelligent and positive way we would now be in a totally different position ( notwithstanding the insanity of Brexit) .That we should have to repeatedly make these points is so dispiriting.

  4. Thank you for doing this. I have a question that you may be able to answer although it is not immediately related to the above. There are a couple of campaigns now for a 2nd referendum – there is the Independent petition and the People’s Vote campaign. I haven’t signed either of them yet, because I would like to know if either or both of those campaigns have thought about how we, the disenfranchised Brits, can have a vote in that should it take place. I feel most unwilling to support another referendum if I am not going to be allowed to vote in it again! I have sent emails to both these campaigns asking for clarification – can British in Europe also include this as a demand should we have another referendum?

    1. Hi Lesley – we are officially supporting the People’s Vote with the proviso of being given a vote ourselves which is supported by the majority of groups involved.

  5. If the 3 million Ex Pats and 3 million EU Citizens living in the UK were allowed a vote Brexit would never have happened.
    Its not without reason why as an EX Pat i was denied a vote.
    To me its not democracy its dictatorship
    The german authourities too have no clue what will happen to us in an event of a no deal.
    Its crazy all this!

  6. In my view, it is not only Brits in Europe who should have a vote on Brexit. Though of course they MUST.

    Since I live overseas (in the Far East) I have never been able to vote for any local or national election in Britain. Till now that has not PARTICULARLY bothered me, as I felt that democracy could function fairly well without my vote — Parliament would still be there, and if I didn’t like the government when I eventually returned to the UK, within five years I would get to have a say.

    But BECAUSE I have been “disenfranchised” by living overseas for so long, something very important to me, which transcends the government of the day, has come and gone — and I, as a British citizen, who has never considered giving up my citizenship, may well come back to a VERY different country than I ever expected, or wanted.

    For SUCH an important issue, ALL British citizens, living ANYWHERE should have been given the chance to express their feelings regarding Brexit. We may have left Britain, even for quite some time — but that doesn’t mean we have no care about what going to happen to it.

    As a “citizen of the larger world”, I would most certainly support a NEW referendum — and I sincerely hope that Brexit is then ROUNDLY REJECTED — even if, for a while, it makes the Brits (those who voted for it, anyway) look like a bunch of fools.

    Those who proposed Brexit, and those still pursuing it, are still living in yesterday’s world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.