An inquiry has started to examine how the rights of the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK can be protected after the country will leave the European Union. The inquiry is carried out by British Future, a think tank in London that deals with migration, integration and identity.
There are many open questions for Europeans in the UK and Britons in EU countries, ranging from social welfare to health services and pensions. The inquiry will look into the legal status of EU citizens, cut-off dates for recognising old and new rights and how to prove residency in the UK. “The inquiry will start from the principled position that letting EU citizens stay in the UK is the right thing to do. Its aim will be to examine how to make this work in practice, and to make practical recommendations to the government,” says a press release.
The panel responsible for the inquiry is led by Gisela Stuart, former Chair of the Vote Leave campaign and Labour MP. Born in West Germany, Stuart moved to the UK in the 1970s, but her role in the inquiry has been questioned. There is currently a petition on Change.org to ask that she is removed from the position as during the referendum campaign, she “demonstrably colluded with those parts of the Leave camp who spread untruths about the EU and about EU migrants.”
The other members of the panel are Suella Fernandes MP; Suzanne Evans of UKIP; Kate Green MP; Fraser Nelson, Editor of the Spectator; Seamus Nevin of the Institute of Directors; Owen Tudor, of the Trades Union Congress; Steve Peers, Professor at the University of Essex; and Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future.
Employers, migrant’s organisations, legal experts and other interested parties are invited to contribute by 7 September 2016. The panel will meet in September and October and will report later in the year.
Another organisation in Scotland is surveying the reactions to refendum of EU nationals. Feniks Counselling, a charity supporting integration of the Central Eastern European community, is seeking opinions at this link. The survey is open until the end of August.
Among media organisations, the Financial Times is surveying EU citizens living in Britain on their current life and future plans. The questionnaire is available here.
A research carried out by ICM for British Future found that 84% of the British public, including 77% of Leave voters, is favourable to EU nationals remaining in the country while changes to freedom of movement should apply to new arrivals.
Read more on this topic:
Employers shocked by Brexit want a say in future immigration policy. Heather Rolfe on The UK in a Changing Europe, 11 August 2016. Employers in the sectors of food and drink, hospitality and construction want an end to the uncertainty for EU citizens in the UK, reveals a survey.
Assurances sought on future of EU vets working in the UK. Pig World, August 16, 2016. Almost half of veterinary surgeons registering in the UK qualified from schools elsewhere in the EU, so the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has set up a Brexit working group and is analyzing the impacts of Brexit on the profession and on animal welfare.
Nicola Sturgeon tells EU nationals: ‘You are not bargaining chips’. Libby Brooks on The Guardian, 17 August 2016. About 450 people attended an event where EU nationals could question the First Minister of Scotland on the impact of the leave vote. Sturgeon urged the UK government to end post-referendum uncertainty.