The latest issue of the European Parliament's magazine brings attention to the New European's campaign that aims to lead the EU institutions to unilaterally guarantee UK citizens' rights in the EU, and safeguard a potential agreement with the UK on the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
In collaboration with UK socialist MEP, Julie Ward, the New Europeans have sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk calling for an end to citizens "being used as bargaining chips" in the Brexit negotiations.
Julie Ward MEP also submitted an urgent written question to President Tusk along these lines. The question was co-authored by BiE's Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, and was signed by 26 MEPs from across the EU.
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels earlier this week, former MP Roger Casale, CEO of New Europeans, called on the EU to safeguard the rights of UK citizens. He said:
As committed Europeans, let us take a moment to reflect. We are building a Europe of the citizens, an EU that safeguards human rights. The EU is doing its best to protect the rights of 3.4 million non-British EU citizens in the UK and 1.6 million British EU citizens in other member states. British citizens resident in the EU are not UK expats, they are EU citizens. We respectfully ask the EU to guarantee their rights unilaterally and as soon as possible, because not to do so may represent a violation of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Roger Casale also drove these points home in a recent interview in the 'Inside Europe' programme, where he spoke alongside Steven Woolfe MEP and Tom Clarkson, Associate Director of 'Britain Thinks'.
The article 8 ECHR argument that is central to the New Europeans campaign was developed by BiE founder Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos (Brunel). It is supported by a number of BiE experts and partners, such as Dr Ed Bates (Leicester), Dr Ruvi Ziegler (Reading) and Dr Merris Amos (Queen Mary), and its development was informed by a number of BiE research events involving acclaimed human rights experts such as Prof Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (Queen Mary), Prof Conor Gearty (LSE), Prof Javaid Rehman (Brunel) and the director of Liberty Martha Spurrier.
Dr Dimitrios Giannoulpoulos was quoted at the European Parliament magazine:
Article 8 provides strong support to the argument that the EU must now unilaterally recognise the rights of UK citizens in the EU. Unless it does so, it risks causing irreparable damage upon the right to private and family life of 4.5 million Europeans, bringing disrepute to the system of human rights protection in Europe and overwhelming the administration of justice in affected EU countries.
BiE member Dr Ruvi Ziegler is also quoted in the magazine:
The pre-article 50 notification promise that rights of non-UK EU citizens will be a first priority for the UK, or the subject of an early agreement is gone. There is no way of reading the manifesto other than that non-UK EU citizens remain a 'bargaining chip', subject to the rest of the issues being resolved in a satisfactory manner. If 'no deal is better than a bad deal', as the Tory manifesto explicitly states, and if rights of non-UK EU citizens are one of the topics for negotiation, which other conclusion can be drawn? There is no compassion or recognition of the contribution that non-UK EU citizens make to British society. This places the future life plans of five million EU citizens in jeopardy, that is to say 3.4 million EU citizens in the UK and 1.6 million British citizens in the EU.
The full article can be accessed here.