I have prepared a petition on change.org, as the first step to presenting a petition to the European Parliament. Here is the text.
Our European citizenship is a fundamental right. Please defend it.
We are citizens of the European Union. In the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, the Union committed itself to the principle that each and every citizen has basic rights. However, the treaties did not directly create distinct legal protections of the status of a citizen, which were considered to be sufficiently protected by the actions of Member States, and Protocol 30 specifically reserves judicial processes relating to such rights to the United Kingdom. If the United Kingdom ceases to be a Member State, British nationals may no longer additionally become European citizens. It does not follow that the fundamental rights currently held by British nationals should be treated as if they never existed.
The EU needs now to consider how to deal both with the rights acquired by UK citizens and those acquired in the UK by citizens of other countries. Citizenship has been described as ‘the right to have rights’. If the rights of citizenship are truly fundamental, no person who currently enjoys the status of a European citizen should have their citizenship removed. No process which denies European citizens the right to have rights can be considered consistent with the Charter.
The consent of the European Parliament is required before any agreement with the departing member state can be concluded. We therefore petition the European Parliament, as the guarantor of EU citizenship, to safeguard the fundamental rights flowing from EU citizenship both for us and for those elsewhere in the EU. We ask the Parliament and the institutions of the EU to ensure that British citizens who are currently citizens of the European Community, and who wish to preserve that status, should on application be able to retain European citizenship after the UK ceases to be a Member State.
Please sign the petition by following this link.
I have had the advantage of comments and phrases from Tony Venables and Richard Upson. The next stage will be, after signatures are in, to present this to the online petitions web-page fo the European Parliament. It is difficult for people to register their support (it took me a day to get my first log in), which is why this is starting on change.org instead.
I’ve been asked – why start another petition, when others were off the blocks first? The answer is (a) because this is going somewhere different – the European Parliament – and is the only one currently aimed there and (b) it refers to European principles.