Wednesday 1 March 2017 / 2:15 PM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

Jeremy Corbyn works with European socialist parties in government to lobby for rights of British people in EU and EU citizens in the UK

Jeremy
Corbyn works with European socialist parties in government to lobby for rights
of British people in EU and EU citizens in the UK
.

Jeremy
Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, is coordinating EU-wide efforts by socialist
parties to protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens
living in the UK.

Today,
Jeremy has written to leaders of seven European socialist parties, allied to
Labour and in government, to lobby, at every level of the EU, for the rights of
British citizens abroad and to reaffirm Labour’s commitment to the rights of EU
residents in the UK.

The
letters follow discussions Jeremy Corbyn initiated at a Party of European
Socialists conference that Labour hosted in London last week.

With the
British government likely to trigger Article 50 in the coming weeks and
negotiations around Britain’s future relationship with the EU about to begin,
millions of people across the EU are uncertain and fearful about what the
future holds for them. 

In the
letters, he appeals to the “common voice” of socialist parties across
Europe to help guarantee the rights of “around 3 million EU Citizens,
living, working and contributing greatly in our societies” and “an
estimated 1.5 million British people living in different parts of the European
mainland.”

Theresa
May has resisted Labour calls for the government to act unilaterally to
guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK. It currently looks likely to
take the issue of rights for EU migrants in the UK and British migrants in the
EU into what could be a difficult and unpredictable period of negotiations.

Corbyn
states this is the reason he is writing “as a friend and sister party
colleague” asking “for you and your government to work formally with
other socialist colleagues in the EU council and insist that the current rights
of both EU and British citizens are guaranteed and insist this decision is the
first to be made once Article 50 is triggered.”

“As
socialist parties, we all agree that we must work together to make sure the
basic values we share are fully represented in a final agreement between
Britain and the EU. Therefore I see no better way to start by making this issue
a key priority for us in the coming months, we cannot allow our citizens, our
neighbours and our friends be subject to further uncertainty or be used as a
bargaining chip.”

“We
as socialists must stand up for the rights of everybody and I am confident this
can be done through the Brexit process and beyond, if we stay true to our
beliefs and work together.

Ends