‘Think of the children’ during Brexit says Commissioner
July 14, 2017 1 comment
The Children’s Commissioner for England has called on the EU to not use children as ‘bargaining chips’ during Brexit negotiations.
In a letter to negotiator Michael Barnier, Anne Longfield quoted official statistics indicating that as many as 588,000 children born in the UK are citizens of other EU member states and around half of these (260,000) were born in the UK. Currently there is no indication of their legal status they will hold at the conclusion of the negotiations or whether they will be forced to leave, potentially separating them from friends and family and disrupting their education.
Meanwhile thousands of British children or children of British citizens live in EU member states.
The EU’s current insistence that the issue immigrants’ rights must be tied to Britain’s continuing membership of the European Court of Justice meant that the status of these resident children could be left in limbo for years during the extended negotiations the Commissioner explained.
The Commissioner said:
“The EU said they wanted to make residence rights of EU nationals the first thing to be agreed during the negotiations. Yet their proposal makes residence rights dependent on ECJ jurisdiction, something which won’t be agreed until the end of the negotiations.”
“If the EU genuinely want to resolve the question of residence rights of EU nationals, they need to separate out the two issues to enable a negotiation in good faith which can give certainty to the hundreds of thousands of children and their families left in limbo. Two more years of uncertainty feels like a long time to a child.”
July 14, 2017
Categories: Family Life