Nurses, social workers and teaching assistants will be among EU citizens who will today (Monday) lobby MPs over their right to remain in the UK.
The lobby is aimed at urging the government to guarantee immediately that these citizens will be able to stay post-Brexit. There are more than three million EU citizens living in the UK who were born elsewhere in Europe, but Theresa May has yet to end their uncertainty over being allowed to stay.
The campaign has been organised by civil rights groups the3million and the New Europeans, together with UNISON.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “These millions of workers help keep the UK’s public services and economy going, but they’re being used as pawns by the government.
“We want Theresa May to end their uncertainty by making it clear now they have the right to stay.”
The3million chief executive Nicolas Hatton said: “EU citizens who came to the UK in good faith have lived through stress and anxiety since the referendum. The government has refused to grant them their rights of residence following Brexit.
“These are people, not bargaining chips, and they’ll be using this lobby to tell their MPs they deserve to be treated with fairness and dignity.”
Founder and chief executive officer of New Europeans Roger Casale said: “EU nationals in the UK must not be used as Brexit bargaining chips. Assurances that this will not be done look pretty weak after another government ‘commitment’ – to resettle 3000 refugee children – was jettisoned last week.
“We’ll be telling our MPs that we want our rights guaranteed now. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.”
– The lobby is between 2.30pm to 6pm at the Houses of Parliament, London SW1 in committee rooms 11 and 14. A photo op will also take place at 1pm in Victoria Tower Gardens involving European workers and their families holding up ‘We are the 3.3million’ placards.
– It is one of several events taking place across the country as part of the national day of action – ‘One day without us’. The events will highlight the economic, cultural or social contribution of migrants to UK society.
– The3million is a campaign group working to preserve the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
– New Europeans is a civil rights movement championing European citizenship, freedom of movement, non-discrimination and the principle of solidarity in Europe.
– UNISON is one of the UK’s largest unions representing 1.3 million people working in public services.