In a recent letter to Lord Adonis, Jacob Rees Mogg said, ‘I do not believe there should be any special terms for EU migrants,”. This really is a scandalous position to take and demonstrates the underlying lack of care in the position of the European Research Group – a party within a party who are currently attempting to be the tail wagging the dog.
EU27 citizens in many cases have been here for decades. My family came to the UK in 1971 when I was 3. Although I have a British passport (I chose to take one in 2005) I have 2 older brothers who have not. One lives in the UK, educated here through his teen years has always worked and paid his tax here and has an English wife and son. My other brother also went to school here and worked most of his working life and paid tax here. A few years ago, he moved to Spain to follow a work opportunity. He has an English wife and a grown-up English son here who has just married. In a post Brexit world, it would seem there is a big question mark as to whether he would have the choice to come back and live in the UK to be close to his family should he want to do that on retirement for example. Questions are also raised regarding pension rights for the many years he worked in the UK
All the decisions our family have made over the years were in the context of our EU citizenship which made the different fragments of our identities come together to make sense. You can replicate those decisions 1000s of times up and down the country with even more complex problems and family compositions. What Brexit is doing is putting unnecessary barriers right in the middle of family life, it is an egregious interference in our lives by government and for no benefit – in fact it is likely to damage the British economy. I do not believe for a second the vast majority of people who voted leave did so in the knowledge that families would be damaged in this way. Whilst government has attempted to use the insecurity of our #5 million (EU27 citizens here and Brits in the EU most of him were disenfranchised), HM opposition has been sadly quiet on the plight of the 5 million and the uncertainties thrown at them and I would have wished to see more opposition to the abominable way Brexit has disrupted and will continue to disrupt their lives. Anybody doubting the uncertainty hanging over the 5 million and their mistrust of government agenda should look carefully at the stories which emerge every day around families caught in in the Home Office’s hostile environment
I would also draw attention to the plight of SME’s. I run a small business. We employ 12 people. 3 of those jobs were created on growth on the back of being able to sell across the EU with relative ease and lack of regulation and complexity at a time when growth in our British markets became flat. This aspect of our business continues to grow. It seems that we do not even know how we will be affected or what preparations we are supposed to make. The government tells us to prepare for no deal but frankly there are thousands of companies across the country who do not have the resources to be able to game the potential scenarios and it is preposterous to expect us to do so. In short Brexit has put business especially SMEs in an impossible situation and jobs will ultimately be lost across the country – not just the big companies but small companies.
In 2016 we did not know what leaving the EU meant, it was an emotional response to a complicated question. Nothing about Brexit which has unfolded in the last 2 years makes sense, no benefits have emerged, “sunny uplands” have become “it won’t be the end of the world” and it really is time that parliament acknowledged as one voice that given the severe outcomes facing us, we must be allowed the opportunity to air and examine all the real consequences of the Government’s propositions on our lives in a thorough public discussion. We need a final public vote with an option to remain.