This is a press release from New Europeans. New Europeans has always argued for immediate, comprehensive and unilateral guarantees for all citizens whose life choices have been put in question by the result of the UK referendum. People are not bargaining chips in negotiations.
On Monday the European Commission republished a new version of the draft withdrawal agreement with Article 32 missing, even though references to Article 32 still appear in the rest of the text.
Commenting on this development, Roger Casale, Founder and CEO of New Europeans, said:
“Britons in the EU are understandably upset – not only do they appear to have lost their freedom of movement rights, they have even lost the paragraph that referred to this predicament – Article 32.
However, we believe that Article 32 has been pulled because it was not fit for purpose and will shortly be replaced with a new version. We don’t know for sure what is being worked on. But the fact that something is obviously cooking is potentially a very positive development.”
New Europeans has advocated a Green Card for Europe as a way of breaking the impasse on citizens’ rights and restoring the pre-Brexit status quo for the 5m EU citizens ( transnational citizens in the UK and the EU) whose lives have been disrupted by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
The idea won a Financial Times Future of Britain Award and was examined by MEPs at a formal joint hearing of the Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions Committees in February. The Brexit Steering Group have been briefed on the proposal as as Michel Barnier.
“It seems to me that the EU has up to now been using the free movement rights of Britons in the EU as a bargaining chip in the negotiations,” said Roger Casale. “This has to stop – Britons in the EU are children of Europe not just of the UK . They deserve the EU’s protection. A Green Card for Europe would restore all their rights and allow lives to return as far as possible to normal if Britain really does leave.”
The issue will be discussed at a meeting of the European Parliament Friendship Group on Citizens’ Rights on wed. 28 March, chaired by Julie Ward MEP.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Roger Casale said:
“MEPs are incensed by the lack of consultation with them about changing Article 32 . However, the Commission probably wants to take a steer from the EU Council meeting this week before coming forward with new proposals. So this is a time when MEPs and campaign groups should be calling loudly for the Green Card for Europe because it is so far the only proposal on the table that would restore all the rights of EU27 citizen and Britons in the EU – something that Mr Verhofstadt has already said i his most recent press conferences is about to happen”.
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