Letter #9

Dear Andrew Jones MP,

The Leave Campaign promised that Brexit would not mean stripping EU citizens of their rights – and polling shows the British public overwhelmingly agrees. Yet still the Government refuses to reassure EU citizens as to their rights to remain in the UK.

There may not be much that opposing sides of the Brexit debate agree on, but this issue has inspired support across political lines.

Last week in an amendment to the Brexit Bill, the House of Lords demanded that the Government guarantee the rights of EU nationals.

Reports* from Parliamentary committees and advisors have called for the Government to do the right thing and protect EU citizens’ right to remain. The British public, so divided on Brexit itself, agree – with 77 per cent of those who voted to leave the EU and 84 per cent of the UK public agreeing Brexit wasn’t about stripping EU nationals of their rights (survey by Common Vision).

Yet the Government continues to use people as bargaining chips in their Brexit negotiations.

Meanwhile around 3 million EU nationals living in the UK (and many UK nationals living abroad) watch nervously as politicians play fast and loose with their future.

As the vote moves to the House of Commons, I am writing to you as my MP to ensure that EU subjects are not treated as bargaining chips in an ill-thought out game. Andrew, please write back to me and say ‘together, we will stand up for EU nationals and ensure that fairness and human rights are at the heart of the negotiations.’

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Backhouse

* Reports are found here –

1) https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldeucom/82/82.pdf
2) https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201617/jtselect/jtrights/695/695.pdf


  1. Dear Mr Backhouse

    I know that we have corresponded recently about Brexit and the triggering of Article 50. I know also that you, like me, were disappointed with the outcome of the referendum on our membership of the European Union.

    In respect of triggering Article 50, like most MPs, I can do little other than repeat that I promised to abide by the outcome of the national referendum. MPs should keep their promises. I have done that. The vast majority of constituencies in the United Kingdom voted Leave. The majority of MPs voted Remain. However, the outcome of the Referendum – as we had promised – had to be honoured.

    However, the purpose of this letter is to draw a line. The referendum result is what it was; it can’t just be ignored or re-run and re-run until we get the result we want. We have to deal with the real world in a practical and pragmatic way. It is time to do that and move on.

    That is why I have enclosed a copy of the Prime Minister’s speech today on the triggering of Article 50. To me this draws the line under the arguments and divisiveness of the referendum. It lays out clearly how we are going to move forward.

    I hope the Prime Minister’s approach gives you reassurance that no stone will be left unturned in getting the best result for our country from the negotiations. I was also delighted to see that she intends to speak for all of us and all our views – not just the 52 per cent who voted to Leave.

    I feel optimistic for the future and will work with all my constituants and the Prime Minister to ensure that, however people voted, their views are represented.

    Yours sincerely,
    Andrew Jones MP


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