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Disgrace that Queen’s Speech fails to guarantee EU citizens’ rights after Brexit

Labour MEPs have condemned the government for failing to put forward legislation in the Queen’s Speech today that will guarantee EU citizens’ rights after Brexit – as UK and other EU citizens petitioned the European Parliament to safeguard their rights.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said:

“It is absolutely disgraceful that the government has failed to put forward legislation in the Queen’s Speech that will guarantee the rights of EU citizens after Brexit. The three million EU citizens currently resident in the UK, and the 1.2 million British citizens living in the rest of the European Union are still being used as pawns in the Brexit negotiations.

“Brexit is about more than politics, it’s about people. We have seen a high volume of petitions from British citizens who worry that an important part of their life will be taken away from them when Brexit is completed. It had been hoped the start of Brexit negotiations would provide more clarity and some concrete answers on life after Brexit, yet we are still waiting.

“Labour MEPs will continue to represent the voices of ordinary people and push the agenda in the European Parliament, so that not a single right is revoked. But the UK government must now follow suit, so that a deal that works for everyone can be secured. Theresa May says ‘no deal’ is a viable option – make no mistake, this would be disastrous, for the public, for the economy, for everyone.”

Clarity still lacking from government on Brexit talks – Labour MEPs

Speaking on the conclusion of the first day of Brexit talks, Labour’s leader in the European Parliament Glenis Willmott MEP said:
“David Davis has begun some of Britain’s most important negotiations for a generation, yet the British people still have no information about what he intends to negotiate.

“Britain needs a government that will proudly declare it will do what is best for jobs and the British economy. We need a government that understands the anguish of people whose homes and livelihoods depend on the outcome of the talks. Instead, we have a weakened Prime Minister who can’t even publicly say what she wants to achieve.

“It is in the country’s interests for there to be a real change of tone from the British government in its approach to the negotiations. But the real test of David Davis is not just one of tone. With the clock ticking on Britain’s membership of the EU single market and customs union, on which so many British and EU jobs depend, we need to start seeing progress on the substance of the negotiations, not just timetables and procedure.”

East Midlands MEP warns Hard Brexit could see return of rip-off holiday phone bills

Mobile phone roaming charges will finally end across the EU on Thursday (May 15) – but local Labour MEP, Glenis Willmott, has warned that a Hard Brexit could see British holidaymakers once again saddled with rip-off bills.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said:

“Labour MEPs in the European Parliament have long campaigned for the end of outrageous roaming charges. Ahead of the summer holidays, it is great news that these have finally been abolished across the EU. Local holidaymakers and business travellers will now be able to phone home, text their friends, surf the internet and upload pictures at no additional cost.

“However, with Britain leaving the European Union, there is no guarantee this will continue in the years after we leave.

“If Theresa May and the Tories cannot deliver a deal, or opt for a disastrous Hard Brexit, we face the very real prospect of British holidaymakers, business travellers and students once more being landed with exorbitant bills, and European visitors to the UK being similarly ripped-off.

“It is vital that the Government puts consumer interests at the heart of their Brexit deal. Nobody wants to be left out of pocket.”

Labour MEPs: Time to stop grandstanding and start serious business of negotiating

Labour MEPs have warned everyone involved in the Brexit negotiations to tone down the political grandstanding and start the serious business of negotiating, as the European Parliament today set out its response to the triggering of Article 50.

Dame Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour’s Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“It won’t always be easy to take the responsible path in the coming months, but it is what we must do. There are some in the European Parliament, and beyond, who are actively hoping to plunge Europe and Britain into chaos, through a disorderly, no-deal Brexit. Why? Because they have no answers to the questions that constructive negotiations will bring.

“Article 50 has been triggered, and those Leave campaigners who now sit in the cabinet or in parliament must take responsibility for the promises they made. A majority voted for Brexit in the referendum, but not to lose their jobs or make themselves poorer – and certainly not to see public services like the NHS suffer.

“These serious times call for a serious response – the Brexit talks are too important to be dealt with as a political game. It is time to stop grandstanding and start the serious business of negotiating. And in order to get a constructive deal, we will need a more measured tone from the government than we have seen from ministers in recent months.”

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