|Adapted from ITV News|
On the day of the Government’s White Paper publication and as the European Union Withdrawal Bill goes to committee stage, groups of UK nationals have presented ‘UK Citizens in Europe - Towards an Alternative White Paper’. This document sets out the concerns about being able to live, work, run a business or study in the European countries where many have made lives for themselves and their families.
‘UK Citizens in Europe’ demands not just continued residence rights for the one million UK citizens and the three million EU citizens in the UK, but the preservation of full EU citizenship rights: ‘the acquisition of citizenship, the right to continue to work, whether employed or self- employed, or run a business, recognition of qualifications, right to study, right of equal treatment, right to move between and work freely across all EU countries without loss or change of any existing EU rights, the right to healthcare, pensions, social benefits/social assistance etc.’
This is the first time that organisations of British citizens all around Europe have worked together. They are calling for their serious concerns to be acted on before Article 50 is triggered. One of the authors of the alternative white paper, Jane Golding, said: ‘‘following the Supreme Court ruling, UK MPs have both the opportunity and the clear responsibility to make approval of the bill to trigger Article 50 conditional on safeguarding the rights and livelihoods of over a million UK citizens living in Europe (as well as around 3 million EU citizens in the UK). This should happen at the earliest opportunity.” Jeremy Morgan QC added that: "our paper shows the complex position of individuals who have moved to another EU country. It is clear that unless all rights are preserved, many people will have no choice but to give up their homes and their lives and return to their country of origin.”
Link to ‘UK Citizens in Europe - Towards an Alternative White Paper’