5 November 2018 – today’s press releases

I’ve allowed myself to be distracted today, and almost forgot to get these up…

Government must end EU citizens rights uncertainty

Today the Liberal Democrats spokespeople for Home Affairs and Brexit, Ed Davey and Tom Brake will stand alongside representatives from the3million, advocating for EU citizens in the UK who fear for their rights in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The Conservative Government’s chaotic approach to the Brexit negotiations is making ‘no deal’ more likely by the day. The millions of EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living elsewhere in the EU cannot just be left to cross their fingers and hope Theresa May secures a deal that guarantees their rights.

These five million people have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for more than two years now. The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must guarantee – in law – the rights of all EU citizens in the UK, no matter the outcome of the negotiations.

The Government should also offer a way out of this mess entirely by giving the people a final say on the deal with the option to remain – and give EU citizens in the UK a vote this time.

Government should be encouraging more Commonwealth soldiers to serve

Responding to the announcement that more Commonwealth soldiers will be able to join the Armed Forces without living in the UK first, Defence Spokesperson Menzies Campbell said:

Soldiers from around the Commonwealth have played a crucial role in our military history, particularly during the two world wars. We should celebrate their service and encourage more to follow their example.

But, the Government must ensure that those who serve our country aren’t prevented from staying in the UK or bringing their families to join them – for example by prohibitive visa fees and other hostile policies.

Government sleepwalking into another Windrush type scandal

Following a disastrous appearance at the Home Affairs Select Committee last week, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes was brought before the House of Commons today, but was still unable to answer what immigration checks EU citizens will be subject to after Brexit, and how these will apply to those who are already here are therefore entitled to ‘settled status’.

The Home Office is currently trialing the scheme for applying for settled status, but it isn’t due to be fully open until March 2019. Nokes boasted that the Home Office has now granted settled status to 1,000 EU citizens, less than 0.03% of the 3.6 million EU citizens currently living in the UK.

Following the debate, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Millions of EU citizens in the UK have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for more than two years. After being quizzed by MPs on two separate occasions, the Immigration Minister has utterly failed to offer them any clarity.

The one thing the Minister did admit is that the Conservatives will not be able to implement their much-vaunted immigration red lines for years to come.

The Conservatives are sleepwalking into another Windrush scandal, where hostile environment checks destroy the lives of people who have every right to be in the UK. The Government’s chaotic approach to Brexit risks subjecting EU citizens to those same injustices.

Conservative Ministers must end this uncertainty and offer a way out of this mess entirely by giving the people a final say on the Brexit deal, with the option to remain in the EU.

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