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Lib Dems table Bill to give Europeans the right to stay in the UK

July 7, 2016 11:36 AM
By Simon McGrath

Tom BrakeTom Brake has tabled a Bill to be debated next Tuesday which would give Europeans living here the right to stay in the EU.

This follows on from both the Government and Theresa May refusing to give assurances to people who are living here that they will have an unconditional right to carry on doing so. Theresa May seems determined to use them as a bargaining chip.

This not acceptable to Lib Dems - as Tim Farron said at the demonstration on the EU last Saturday 'The Liberal Democrats will not stand by while our communities are divided by uncertainty. Regardless of the outcome of any negotiations with Europe around Brexit, EU citizens who have made Britain their home must be allowed to stay.'

This is not just a humanitarian issue - it is damaging to our economy as people faced with uncertainty about whether they can stay in the UK will put off decisions and it is hardly attractive for entrepeeaners to set up businesses here if they cannot be sure they will be allowed to stay.

The Party is also launching a national campaign with a petition and local campaigning materials available from HQ shortly.

This should be an issue which all Lib Dems can unite to campaign on and judging from my own experience one which gets a lot of support - from both Remainers and Brexiters.

Tim Farron puts the case better than anyone:

"To Europeans whose lives are now rooted in the UK, my message is simple: the Liberal Democrats stand with you, and will speak for you. To the French family raising their children in Manchester, to the Polish mother working to pay her mortgage in Portsmouth, to the German graduate starting his business venture in Birmingham - the Liberal Democrats value you, we will stand by you, and we will champion your future here in Britain."

* Simon McGrath is Membership Officer of Merton Lib Dems, writing in a personal capacity