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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP calls out PM’s “weak and wobbly gesture” and sends message of support to EU nationals

23 June 2017


Today is the first anniversary of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. Over the past 12 months, the 4.4 million EU27 nationals living in the UK and British expats living in those countries have had their futures increasingly cast into doubt.

Last night they were given a few crumbs of reassurance by Theresa May, but her offer of an ill-defined new “settled status” will do little to ease their fear and uncertainty. [1]

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and the Green Party’s spokesperson for migration, has today launched a video addressed to the millions of individuals concerned – reassuring them that she will continue fighting for their rights throughout the Brexit negotiations.

Jean has also launched a new Free Movement Hub. This provides advice and resources for people who are concerned about their right to free movement, and updates on her work on this issue in the European Parliament.

Jean Lambert MEP says:

“Theresa May has chosen to mark the first anniversary of the EU referendum in true form – by making a weak and wobbly gesture on EU and UK nationals’ rights.

Over the past 12 months, EU27 nationals in the UK and British expats in the EU27 have been anxiously awaiting some clarity on their future. This lacklustre offer will do little to reassure them. The Prime Minister should have made a unilateral offer early on as it is the UK that is putting their future in doubt.

Instead, it appears that May’s “big generous offer” could result in citizens being stripped of certain rights. The Prime Minister failed to mention the indivisible rights that citizens currently enjoy across the EU – for example, the rights to work, family reunification, healthcare and pensions. Neither does it offer any certainty as to the cut-off date for citizens to qualify for “settled status”.

Moreover, May’s demand that EU nationals are subject to the UK’s post-Brexit immigration laws rather than the European Court of Justice is deeply concerning given her Government’s clear disregard for citzens’ rights.

On this sad day, I want to send a strong message to other EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals who have chosen to make their lives elsewhere in Europe. Your rights are paramount and protecting them fully is a red line – not just for me, but for the Green Party, the Greens/EFA group and for the European Parliament. If MEPs feel that the rights of EU nationals are not fully protected, we will not vote in favour of the final Brexit agreement.”