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Monday, September 17, 2018

Government should be ashamed of position on citizen rights

It is difficult to disagree with the former president of the Confederation of British Industry, who has said that the UK government and European leaders “should be ashamed” that they have not guaranteed the rights of citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit:

Paul Drechsler said it was an “absolute scandal” that EU citizens in the UK and British nationals in Europe remained in limbo more than two years after the referendum.

“Leaving people hanging by a thread of uncertainty is totally against British values, totally against European values,” he told The Guardian.

“We should be ashamed of the fact that we sweep that aside,” he added.

About 3.8 million EU citizens are residents of the UK and an estimated 900,000 Britons live elsewhere in the EU.

Mr Dreschler said both groups should be given “an unambiguous, unconditional guarantee they will be OK no matter what”. He said the the status of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit was the crucial issue facing businesses in London.

Mr Dreschler, who now chairs London First, an umbrella group of firms in the capital, called or an end to ”lies” about immigration. “It’s time we were honest with people about the positive role and contribution, our industry, research, tech, [migrants] make,”

Celebrating the role of immigrants in our society, their contribution to our prosperity and our economy has been a major theme of the Liberal Democrats Conference so far this week. Our country would grind to a halt without that input and we would all be culturally poorer.
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