This article in the Guardian quite rightly identifies that British nationals resident in EU27 countries and EU27 nationals resident in the UK are not having their fundamental citizenship rights properly assessed or protected in the exit treaty negotiations.
This comes as no great surprise as individual rights have hardly figured in the Brexit debate which has been dominated by grand and amorphous concepts of “taking back control” and “global influence”.
The plight of the British and EU27 ex-patriates, of which I am one, is not to be underestimated. However even the number of them is grossly underestimated. For instance, the UN estimates for British nationals living in France (130,000) falls far short of the French government’s own estimate of 400,000.
Our research shows that, apart from British nationals resident in EU27 countries, there are a dozens of groups of British nationals, numbering several million, who have exercised their EU citizenship rights in a significant and meaningful way and have NO protection under the terms of the draft exit treaty by virtue of the fact that they will not be resident in an EU27 country on the required date(s).
In fact many of them have never been resident in an EU27 country.
This is not just about making sure ALL those people are properly protected when (if) the UK leaves the EU, it is about making sure that sufficient light is shone into the Brexit murk to ensure that people are aware of the personal consequences for the millions of British nationals who have made life changing decisions based on their EU citizenship rights.
That will help contribute to making people aware just how complicated Brexit is.
The current focus of the EU and the UK on their convenient and discriminatory definitions of who needs their rights protected is shallow and lacking in the “Good Faith” that both those parties deem important enough to include in its own clause in the draft agreement.
Just as it was when we took on the government over its unconstitutional assertion that it could use the archaic “Royal Prerogative” to trigger the Article 50 notification, we need to expose and oppose the bureaucratically convenient notions on fundamental citizenship rights and how to protect those rights.
Almost without exception none of the political or campaign group leaders are speaking up for the millions of people threatened with the loss of their hopes, dreams and even livelihoods that are based on those fundamental citizenship rights.
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Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is the best outcome for the UK: an outcome in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.
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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.