A coalition of MPs, organisations and grassroots groups has called on the prime minister to put an end to the ongoing Brexit misery. This follows the chaos last week surrounding the government-imposed deadline for settled status applications, which has left many thousands of EU citizens in limbo, facing the prospect of being deported from the UK. But the Brexit misery extends now to almost every sector of our economy and society, and has become untenable.
Grassroots groups and MPs urge the prime minister to take action on Brexit
The letter was organised by Lord Adonis, chair of European Movement UK, and was signed by representatives of Save British Farming, the Musicians Union, the Young European Movement, and leading figures across the political spectrum. It cautions the prime minister that, “the situation is increasingly critical”, and says the measures called for are essential to prevent “an ongoing economic and social crisis”.
The letter spells out how the prime minister should dramatically reduce the negative impact of Brexit in just four simple steps:
- Extend the applications deadline for settled and pre-settled status and agree a moratorium on immigration enforcement for EU citizens in the UK.
- Agree a deal with the EU for post-Brexit visa-free arrangements enabling creative professionals to perform throughout the EU.
- Negotiate a suitable form of alignment with the EU single market on SPS standards, enabling farmers and businesses to trade freely and alleviate Northern Ireland border issues.
- Reinstate Erasmus+ as a third country, as all non-EU members states are eligible to.
The full text of the letter
Dear Prime Minister,
Six months after you signed your Brexit deal with the EU and the transition period ended, Brexit is not done. Problems of acute immediate concern are still unresolved and the situation is increasingly critical. Instead of stability and the sunlit uplands which you promised, we have gunboats in Jersey, millions of jobs in jeopardy, the threat of empty supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland, and an impasse in relations with the EU.
UK professionals – including artists, musicians, engineers and architects – can no longer conduct their business freely across the EU, wrecking their livelihoods and the future of economic sectors worth tens of billions to the UK.
The Northern Ireland Protocol has introduced a customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland which no one in the UK wants but you are unable to overcome because of your intention that the GB fully exit the EU Customs Union and the Single Market.
Farmers’ livelihoods are at risk because of the loss of EU markets, while future trade deals beyond the EU risk undercutting their produce.
Young people are waking up to the fact that they have been lost the chance to participate in the unrivalled Erasmus+ programme, depriving them of the chance to live and learn across dozens of European countries.
Most urgently, tens of thousands of EU citizens, who have made their home in the UK, face risk of losing their homes and incomes because of an arbitrary deadline for registering for Settled Status which the government itself cannot meet. Another Windrush calamity is in the making in respect of EU citizens who are in the UK wholly legally – until your arbitrary decision to withdraw their EU citizenship rights within the UK from the end of June.
We are writing to ask that you take four immediate steps today to help those most affected by this situation:
- Extend the deadline for applications for settled and pre-settled status and agree a moratorium on immigration enforcement for EU citizens in the UK until the whole ‘settled status’ application and registration process is complete.
- Agree a deal with the EU for post-Brexit visa-free arrangements that enables creative professionals to perform throughout the EU.
- Negotiate alignment with the EU single market on SPS standards, to enable farmers and businesses to trade freely and alleviate NI border issues.
- Reinstate Erasmus+ as a third country, as all non-EU members states are eligible to do.
These four steps are essential to stabilise your Brexit deal and prevent an ongoing economic and social crisis in its immediate implementation.
We look forward to your response.
Lord Andrew Adonis
The Right Honourable Dominic Grieve, QC
Caroline Lucas MP
Layla Moran MP
European Movement UK, Anna Bird, CEO
Young European Movement, Julius Lajtha, President
Wales for Europe, Helen Wales, Chair
Grassroots for Europe, Richard Wilson, Chair
European Movement in Scotland, Mark Lazarowicz, Chair
Save British Farming, Liz Webster, Lead Campaigner
The Musicians’ Union