20 May 2017 - 12:03
Dear President Tusk,
There is a growing body of evidence to show people whose lives are caught up in the Brexit negotiations are suffering high levels of distress as a result of the uncertainty surrounding their future status.
So we would like to start by thanking you for all that the European Council is doing to safeguard the rights of 3.4m EU citizens in the UK and 1.6m UK citizens in the EU.
We recognize that you have made the issue of EU citizens' rights a priority.
We welcome your commitment to securing all the rights currently enjoyed by EU citizens living in the UK, and not just the right to remain.
We congratulate you on insisting that no deal will be signed with the UK, unless and until the rights of EU citizens in the UK have been fully secured.
We also believe that the EU can be bolder still.
Our #righttostay campaign in the United Kingdom has led to pledges by both the Labour and the Liberal Democrats to guarantee the rights of EU citizens unilaterally.
We now call on the EU to provide unilateral #EUguarantees for UK citizens living in the EU.
Such a step would demonstrate moral courage and leadership.
You would be recognizing that UK citizens in the EU are not the passive victims of British government policy.
You would be treating British people in Europe not as Expats but as EU citizens protected by the institutions of a European Union that upholds their human rights.
The rights of EU citizens in the UK will need to be defended by the EU institutions by all available means.
However, the lives of 1.6m UK citizens in the EU should not be a bargaining chip that the EU takes into the negotiations.