Author Archives: Robert Harrison

How YOU can support EU citizens in the UK

Put yourself forward to be a member of the EU Citizens’ Panel.

Many members of the Liberal Democrats will have been horrified to hear about the treatment of EU citizens arriving in the UK, as reported in the Guardian, Politico and other newspapers. 

Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are cases of European citizens who have lived among us for many years suddenly finding themselves unwelcome with questions being raised about their entitlement to healthcare and even school places for their children. This was not supposed to happen. EU citizens were told “nothing would change” after Brexit and it was one of the negotiating positions of the European Commission during the withdrawal negotiations. The principle set out in the  Withdrawal Agreement was that those Europeans living in the UK at the end of the transition period would continue to maintain their rights. It is simply not happening.

The Withdrawal Agreement set up an Independent Monitoring Authority to monitor the implementation of the citizens rights aspects and its website can be found here

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments

NHS – indefinite leave to remain

It’s not just non-British NHS workers who should get indefinite leave to remain.

Our party has rightly come out and argued that doctors, nurses and paramedics at the frontline who are not British citizens should not just have their visas extended by one year (as reported in the Independent, but be given an indefinite leave to remain in the UK. This offer is to be welcomed, but we need to go further. There are many community care workers working unselfishly with disabled and elderly people in their own homes, community centers and retirement centres throughout the country who have come from …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | Leave a comment

Huawei and 5G – a Liberal Democrat approach

Embed from Getty Images

Starting with the Sunday Times, several media sources have reported that the Cabinet was facing a massive split on whether to allow the Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei to supply major parts of the UK’s new 5G network. The company has been prohibited from supplying critical components into the US and Australian networks and Donald Trump has reportedly urged Boris Johnson to ban Huawei in the UK. How the UK should deal with Chinese high-tech companies is not just restricted to this issue alone – and whatever decision the British cabinet takes on Tuesday is unlikely to be the final word – it goes also to the heart of the future trading relationship with China and the UK, as well as with the US.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments

Brexit – a view from the Continent

For the 1.3 million British migrants living in the EU, the past couple of weeks have been pretty eventful. Many of us have watched and listened (in horror) from afar whilst Brexit and Article 50 have been discussed in parliament. We’ve heard that it’s “the people’s will” and that Parliament should not ignore the referendum vote. Yet many of us did not have the vote in the referendum, as we have lived for too long outside of the UK. We saw an attempt to guarantee the rights of European citizens living in the UK defeated, even by Labour MPs such as Gisela Stuart, who is on record as supporting their rights. An amendment to force the government to support British migrants, proposed by the Liberal Democrats, was not even taken. Many of us are starting to be seriously worried about the way forward.

Recently I was told that it was the European Union that is blocking progress on recognising the situation of individuals and also that UK citizens were being used as bargaining chips. If anything, it is the frustration with the British government’s lack of communication that has led to this situation. Many countries, except apparently France and Germany, are prepared to come to an agreement. The common Franco-German position, as well as that of the European Commission, is that there can be no discussions until PM Theresa May has formally invoked Article 50 and declared that the UK will withdraw from the EU. On the contrary, both countries are clear that they have no intention of “expelling” British nationals living in their countries, many of whom have jobs and families. So why should we be afraid?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 48 Comments

Refugees – A small town in Germany

Germany refugees 3Budapest, Vienna, Munich – the newspaper and television pictures show a story of refugees fleeing from the civil war in Syria and other countries, looking for a place to stay, to keep their families safe, and most of all to survive. Images of their reception in Austria and Bavaria – most notably at Munich railway station – have been seen worldwide. Helped by thousands of volunteers and the German authorities, most of the asylum seekers have found shelter.

What does it and will it mean for Germany? And for the smaller towns and villages spread throughout the country? I live in a small town just to the East of Munich. It’s on the main railway line between Salzburg and Munich and the past week has seen both local trains and InterCity trains coming through the station packed with refugees.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 16 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • John Marriott
    1 Repeal the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act - it’s clearly not working 2 Decriminalise the possession of drugs for personal use - use the Portuguese example 3 Tre...
  • Hireton
    @jeff !975 is nearly half a century ago. Time to enter the 21st century perhaps?...
  • Hireton
    @petermartin "It had its own laws and justice system before it had its own Govt." Scotland was a separate state with its own government, laws and justice ...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Martin, "The ‘political centralisation’ stuff was hooey , strictly for political anoraks and oddballs." There must be an awful lot of odd...
  • David Raw
    Oh come on, Alex. Dorothy Bain QC was only appointed as Lord Advocate on 22 June - just thirteen weeks ago. You've got to lay the first brick to build a wall. ...