SNP MP Stuart McDonald will today (Friday) join a delegation meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator to discuss the possibility of “ring-fencing” citizens’ rights if the UK crashes out the EU without a comprehensive deal.
Cross-party MPs from a Taskforce on Citizens’ Rights, which includes the SNP MP, will be in Brussels today (Friday) for a meeting with Michel Barnier to discuss the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens residing in the EU.
The meeting follows on from the so-called ‘Costa amendment’ – signed by the SNP – which passed in the House of Commons and forced the Tory government to seek to safeguard citizens’ rights “whatever the outcome of negotiations on other aspects of the withdrawal agreement.”
The SNP warned that the rights of citizens were in jeopardy with Boris Johnson – the likely successor to Theresa May – pledging a ‘do or die’ exit from the EU in October and increasing the threat of a devastating no-deal departure.
Commenting ahead of the meeting, SNP Immigration spokesperson, Stuart McDonald MP, said:
“Whatever the outcome of Brexit, it is vital that the issue of citizens’ rights is resolved in favour of all UK and EU nationals most directly affected – those living in other member states - and whose lives are being blighted by the continued chaos and uncertainty being caused by the Tory government.
"It is a mark of just how disastrous the Tory government’s handling of Brexit has been that we are having to think about how to address the huge problems that will be faced by EU citizens here and UK citizens in Europe if there is not a deal.
“More fundamentally, it's clear that there is no such thing as a good Brexit and any form of leaving the EU will leave us all poorer and worse off.
"Ultimately, the best way to protect citizens' rights is by remaining in the EU and retaining the mutual rights we have benefited from.”