Party leaders unite to guarantee EU citizens’ rights

The leaders of all major political parties except UKIP and the Tories have signed a landmark pledge, co-ordinated by Another Europe is Possible

26th May 2017

  • Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, Leanne Wood, Caroline Lucas and Angus Robertson sign pledge “to support the right of EU citizens living in the UK to remain in the UK after Brexit and retain their current rights”
  • Home Is Here pledge launches today, open to all general election candidates
  • More than 100 candidates sign up prior to launch of campaign
  • Campaigners hope that the Home is Here pledge will force the issue of guaranteeing continuing rights to European citizens onto the election agenda.

The leaders of the Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat, and Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties have today come together to pledge that they will “support the right of EU citizens living in the UK to remain in the UK after Brexit and retain their current rights”. Theresa May and Paul Nuttall have not yet responded to the request to sign.

The pledge, and the Home is Here campaign, launches today with the aim of ensuring that the next government unilaterally guarantees the rights of all 3 million European citizens resident in the UK after Brexit. MPs voted narrowly against doing so in March.

The pledge campaign is run from www.homeishere.org.uk and will enable supporters to email all candidates in their area and see if and how they have already responded.

More than 100 candidates have already signed the pledge, with many more expected to sign up following the launch of the campaign. Those already signed up include candidates and sitting MPs from all major parties, including one Conservative and a few UKIP candidates.

Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, said: 
“It should shame us all that 3 million people who have built a home in this country are, as a result of Theresa May’s posturing, being denied basic guarantees over their right to remain here. We need to end to this situation and send a clear message to EU nationals who make such an amazing contribution to Britain: “You are welcome here””.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: 
“There is simply no excuse for the Government to be stalling on this – and EU citizens deserve to have their rights secured immediately. The Government’s approach to Brexit is hugely damaging, and their use of EU citizens as bargaining chips is both cruel and counterproductive.  The best way to secure the rights of UK nationals in other EU countries is precisely by showing good faith and unilaterally guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals here.”

Guardian journalist Owen Jones said:
“3 million people – our friends and colleagues, doctors and teachers – don’t know if they’ll have the right to stay here, where they’ve build a home. That’s a disgrace, and it’s why I’m backing the Home is Here campaign. This election is about a lot of different things – but we need to use it to make absolutely sure that EU citizens don’t face being chucked out of the country.”

Michael Chessum, from Another Europe is Possible, the organisation running the Home is Here campaign, said:
“It really should be a bigger deal that, just a couple of months ago, MPs voted against offering basic guarantees of residency for 3 million people in Britain. We are going to make a big deal of it – and make sure that the next parliament has a majority in favour guaranteeing these basic rights.”

ENDS
NOTES

1. For more information please ring 07964791663 or email info@anothereurope.org
2. The Home is Here website can be viewed at www.homeishere.org.uk
3. Home is Here is an initiative of Another Europe is Possible. This is a standalone campaign, and association with it does not imply support for all of Another Europe is Possible’s work.
4. Candidates wishing to sign the pledge should email pledge@homeishere.org.uk