Brexit is set to deprive UK citizens of basic rights

I’ve repeatedly argued in this blog that trade with the EU is not the main issue: social rights are.  I wrote before the referendum that

If the UK leaves, UK citizens will lose their rights as European citizens. Those rights include rights to representation within the EU, the right to move and live freely throughout the EU, reciprocal rights to public services, and consular and diplomatic protection from other EU countries when outside Europe. There is something deeply flawed about a process that claims to be democratic but implies that a majority decision would deprive a minority of their rights.

Last March, the House of Commons passed this motion:

this House supports the maintenance of European Union citizenship rights for Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish and English citizens, notes that the range of rights and protections afforded to individuals as European Union citizens are integral to a person’s European identity; further notes that many of those rights are closely linked to the UK’s membership of the Single Market; and calls on the UK Government to ensure that the UK’s membership of the Single Market and UK citizens’ right to European Union citizenship are retained in the event that the UK leaves the EU.

Yesterday, despite that, it emerged that if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement, reciprocal arrangements for  health insurance will be withdrawn from UK citizens living in other European countries.  None of the main protagonists in the Brexit debate is focusing on the things that really matter.

 

2 comments

  1. Andrew Crow

    “None of the main protagonists in the Brexit debate is focusing on the things that really matter.”

    Brexit is fantasy politics from beginning to end. Utter nonsense.

    The only sensible way out of this ‘clusterfuck’ (which will forever be the word to describe Brexit, I think) is to rescind Article 50, but none of our politicians dare suggest it because they have backed themselves into corners of vacuous principle.

    I think there is no viable escape route left because both main parties have bolted the exit doors and are leaning against them to hold them closed.

    There can be no acceptable ‘deal’ from here. Brexit cannot be delivered without national self harm on a grand scale and the reverberations will echo for decades.

  2. Ian Davidson

    Agreed to all above. In my 57 years of breathing including working in public sector and studying admin law, public policy etc I find nothing positive to say. We have been spectacularly let down by this government and the majority of MPs. Our international standing must, I imagine, be very low with diplomats in other countries wondering how a nation which once ruled half the world is in such a self-inflicted mess. I think all the shenanigans inside Westminster will “end in tears” with the political situation in Ireland being the biggest worry. I never thought we would see an end to the “Troubles” in NI and now that we have had two decades of relative “peace” (by no measure is the political situation in NI “normal” with an armed police force, organised crime based around sectarian loyalties and politicians still in fear of their personal safety etc); it is incredible that politicians at Westminster are now placing this at risk. Whatever happens, I suspect that lawyers will be busy for many years ahead dealing with all the constitutional, administrative, corporate and individual legal disputes which will arise from our leaving the EU in such an incredibly messy manner. In Scotland, whilst we have some “enlightened” governance from Holyrood, Scot Gov etc, I fear that we will be engulfed in this chaos. Whilst I am a life-long supporter of Scottish independence, I think it would be a massive error if we allowed the Brexit crisis to precipitate (a potentially very divisive) indy-ref 2 and all its consequences at the “wrong” time and for the “wrong” reasons, especially given the lessons any objective observer can gather from the Brexit crisis and the pros and cons of referenda!

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