Brexit: MEPs write to David Davis demanding clarity on citizens' rights

Fourteen British MEPs have written to UK Brexit secretary David Davis saying they fear citizens will be “held hostage” in the ongoing Brexit talks.

Brexit | Photo credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

21 Mar 2018

The letter has been signed by cross-party deputies such as Charles Tannock, Richard Corbett, Alyn Smith and Jean Lambert.

It asks for a commitment from both the EU and UK that the principle of “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” does not apply to the issue of citizens’ rights.

“Without such an assurance, the lives of the 4.6 million EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU remain in limbo and may be held hostage on negotiations in other areas. This continuing uncertainty is damaging and unacceptable,” it reads.


The MEPs said they were surprised about the disappearance of the so-called “Article 32” from the draft withdrawal agreement outlined this week.

They have demanded clarity on the significance of the omission of Article 32 and seek assurance that citizens here and in the UK will “not be left behind.”

The article appeared in previous drafts and regulates the free movement of British citizens living in Europe after Brexit. The entire article is missing from the new text, which goes straight from Article 31 to Article 33.

MEPs from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru have written to Davis for clarification about the disappearance of the free movement clause.


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