Barnet Labour call for Government to guarantee right of 40,000 EU Barnet residents to remain in UK

Barnet's Labour councillors have called for the Government to take the moral high ground and guarantee the right of 40,000 EU citizens living in Barnet to stay in the UK post-Brexit.

In a motion to last night's Full Council meeting (4 April) Labour councillors argued that neither British citizens living in EU countries nor EU citizens living in the UK should be used as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations, and guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK would help secure an early agreement for British citizens living in the EU.

The motion called on Barnet Council to issue a statement in support of the rights of these citizens to remain where they live post-Brexit.

Barnet's Conservative councillors refused to support the motion

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: "The Government should take the moral high ground in the Brexit negotiations and immediately provide assurances on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK to remain here in order to secure an early agreement for British citizens living in the EU.

"There are 900,000 British citizens living in EU countries, many of whom will be from Barnet.

"Whilst the European Parliament's proposals of associate citizenship may eventually address this, this is not a satisfactory assurance of their status following Britain’s exit from the EU. 

"We believe that British citizens living in the EU should also have their rights guaranteed by the EU and European heads of government, and that neither British citizens living in the EU nor EU citizens living in the UK should be used as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations.

Cllr Alon Or-bach who spoke in last night's debate said: "It was extremely disappointing that Conservative councillors refused to support our motion and stand up for the rights of thousands of residents that have made their home in Barnet.

"Their Deputy Leader's comment that these residents should go to the MEP  of 'their respective country' is deeply offensive. Britain is their respective country. It is a travesty that Barnet Conservatives think standing up for the rights of our residents is a waste of their time."

Ends.

Notes:

1. A copy of Labour's motion on EU citizens can be found here: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s39069/15.4%20-%20Opposition%20Amendment%20-%20Cllr%20Or-bach.pdf

2. To sign the EU citizens right to remain petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/guarantee-no-change-in-the-status-of-e-u-citizens-currently-living-in-the-u-k

3. Link to tweets on EU citizens by Tory Deputy Leader, Cllr Dan Thomas: https://twitter.com/Daniel_Thomas81/status/746987112797462528

For more information contact Cllr Barry Rawlings: cllr.b.rawlings@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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