Letter to Michel Barnier from Steve Barclay

Today we are pleased to see that our recent meeting with Secretary of State Steve Barclay (below) has resulted in a clearly worded letter to Michel Barnier requesting the ringfencing of our rights in the case of no deal.
Thank you to Albert Costa MP for arranging the meeting and Minister Robin Walker for his continued support.

Jane Golding, Co-Chair of British in Europe said:

‘At times our fight to protect our citizens’ rights feels like one step forward and two steps back. However, today we are pleased to see that our recent meeting with Secretary of State for Exiting the EU Steve Barclay has resulted in a clearly worded letter to Michel Barnier reflecting fairly and fully the issues we raised.

Mr Barclay is right that we are not asking for the withdrawal agreement to be re-opened. And a ringfenced withdrawal agreement is infinitely better than 28 unilateral national solutions that cannot resolve issues such as cross border social security contributions for working people, or health insurance for pensioners.

We remind all sides of their 2017 pledge to allow the roughly 5 mn British in Europe and EU 27 citizens living in the UK to carry on living their lives in the same way as before Brexit. This is all the more urgent because the vast majority of both groups – 60% in the case of the 1.2mn British in Europe – were unable to vote in the 2016 Referendum that would have a direct impact on our future.

The existing withdrawal agreement is far from perfect– for example it does not include the free movement that so many of our members rely on for work and to keep their family together. However, it is certainly far better than what would happen in the case of a no deal.

As such, both sides have a special duty of care to agree to do the right thing as quickly as possible, so that the people most directly affected by Brexit, and without a say about it, can get on with their lives with certainty’.

Previous correspondence can be read here.