MEPs in the other 27 countries of the EU have yet again emphasised the need for urgency to secure the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. They stress that this needs to happen before negotiations start.
Claude Moraes a Labour MEP for London and Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, said:
” Human beings come first, we are not commodities and what happens on citizens’ rights sets the tone for the entire negotiation and relationship for a generation to come, so we must get it right”.
In a joint hearing organised by the committees of Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions, most MEPs underlined the “moral duty” to end the uncertainty created for both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU since the June referendum.
The EU should let go of the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” in negotiations, because a quick solution for citizens’ rights is a matter of priority. “Let´s do this first”, they concurred.
Parliament´s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the House might adopt a resolution on this issue, probably after the summer recess.
The Orkney News has covered several articles highlighting the uncertainty for EU nationals over their residency – family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues who have made Orkney their home. For UK migrants living in the other 27 countries of the EU their situation is equally uncertain.
Romanian MEP Renate Weber Vice-Chair of the Employment Committee, said:
“I strongly believe that when thinking about Brexit consequences, there is no greater concern than the fate of EU citizens who study, work and settle in the UK and also visitors, and of those British citizens who work or live in EU 27. Brexit will have a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers and students, on millions of tourists, as citizens’ mobility and rights are at the heart of the European project. We have worked hard to guarantee citizens’ uninterrupted access to all kind of benefits, and these rights should be safeguarded.”
And Cecilia Wikström a Swedish MEP and Chair of the Petitions Committee stated:
“The Brexit decision has created uncertainty for three million citizens from other member states living in the UK, as well as for the 1.2 million British citizens currently living in the EU. These people are anxious and frightened about their future and their concerns must therefore be our top priority, and issues related to citizens’ rights solved first of all. We shall never forget that this concerns real people, they are not just pawns in the negotiations. This is about basic human values and about common decency. Only by putting the citizens first can we achieve a fair result in the end”.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
The Orkney News has many articles on this issue here are just a few related stories: