If I May

Alex Powell
Jun 30, 2016 · 2 min read

The title to this piece may be a pun, but I am not laughing. This piece has been provoked by a single tweet, and yet it is a piece I knew I would end up writing, the tweet enclosed below, shows exactly what many progressives had feared would be the result of a leave vote;

As you can see, the tweet states that Theresa May has intimated that the rights of EU nationals already living in the U.K. will be subjected to debate with the EU. All who uphold the importance of human rights should be appalled by what this suggests. In effect what Mrs May is saying is that she is willing to use EU nationals, people, as a bargaining chip in order to negotiate a better Brexit deal.

Many of these EU nationals will be long term residents of the UK, they will have families, jobs and lives. To even question their right to remain in this country is unequivocally wrong, but to use them as a barging chip is beneath contempt.

During the referendum the leave campaign gave unequivocal guarantees that the rights of EU nationals already residing in the U.K. would not be impacted by a vote to leave. A joint statement issued by Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Gisela Stuart on June 1st 2016 stating:

“There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.”

Vote leave

Considering the conservative manifesto made no reference to plans to make any changes to the rights of EU nationals residing in the U.k. and the leave campaign positively rejected the idea that a vote to leave would impact their rights at all. One must question, exactly where Mrs May has derived her mandate for such a plan? does she, assuming she wins plan to fight another general election, to give her the mandate to be so despicable as to use EU migrants as her bargaining chip?

Of course, Theresa has long been a fan of the deportation, and perhaps I should not be so shocked that a candidate from the far right of the conservative party, and she is no matter how hard she tires to appear a moderate, is willing to sink so low.

Alex Powell

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21. Law graduate and LLM student. Currently studying ‘Constitutional politics, law and theory’ at Birkbeck University of London. Green party member and activist