Seriously, this is a joke right? Perhaps it was misreported? European Commission head Jean Claude-Juncker rebuffs olive branch offered by British Prime Minister Theresa May when she gave an assurance to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
May had said that EU nationals living in the EU for five years would get “settled status” with access to health and other benefits. And what was Juncker’s response? He said it was “a first step but not sufficient”
And not surprisingly, campaigners claim that May’s offer only served to raise more questions than answers.
What about Britons living in the EU?
Why are we fighting for EU nationals? I cannot but remain perplexed to this day why there are many, including the House of Lords, who insist on protecting the rights and provide certainty to EU nationals living in the UK, and showing no concern whatsoever about the future of Britons living in Europe.
What May did was right when she said that while she would like to provide the certainty demanded for these EU nationals, she had to, as the leader of the United Kingdom, fight for the rights of Britons. Makes sense right?
She has adamantly and hopefully will not budge until the rights of Britons are given similar protection in the EU. She is a politician and a leader. A leader who fights with enough ammunition and like it or not, she is using EU nationals living here, as hostage.
Is it ethical? No, of course not. But is the EU playing fair? Seriously? Are they?
Forget about the EU as a grouping. Has France, Germany, Italy, Spain or Portugal even come out individually to give assurances on the future of Britons living and working in their respective countries? No.
Is anyone fighting for them? Are there campaign groups in these countries asking the governments to protect Briton’s rights to continue living there? No. Well not one that I have come across anyway.
And yet, there are people in this country who are more concerned about EU nationals than Britons.
I urge all to note that Brexit is not as simple as Boris Johnson may want you to think. It is complex, it is going to be painful and the UK government needs to stock its firepower in preparation for the talks.
Not doing so will only be foolish and say what you may of her, but May is not a foolish person. Please remember the Brexit talks are about the UK’s future, our future, our children’s future.
If May needs to be brutal, well, go ahead, I say. Juncker is not playing nice, so why should we? Have you read the comments made by him and other EU leaders following the Brexit vote? They were nothing short of insulting and it was aimed at the British public – you and I.
EU nationals working in UK should stay
I am all for EU nationals living and working here to remain in this country. Why not? They are working. They are contributing to the economy and they bring in the diversity and cultural richness that the United Kingdom is so proud of. and well-known for.
There should not be any question about us not welcoming others as long as they contribute to the economy. Refugees fleeing war torn countries are another issue that I will tackle later.
What we however do not want is EU nationals with no jobs, sponging off the NHS and claiming benefits. Hey, we have enough home-grown Britons already on a lifetime of dole and an NHS that is ready to collapse. So understandably we just cannot take on anymore economic migrants.
Following post-Brexit, local media, including the BBC reported on the uncertainty over the future of EU nationals living and working here, especially the fate of the NHS, which is heavily reliant on foreign workers.
I could not help but laugh at how the media were playing to certain pro-EU politicians by harping on a non-story. Do you really think May will kick out EU nationals who are contributing to the economy? At most what could happen is EU nationals may be forced to apply for work visas. As long as you are in a priority sector like the NHS, there should not be any reason why your application should be rejected. And to make it simpler, the NHS could even apply for these visas on behalf of the EU nationals.
And rest assured, the Immigration and Border Control is pretty efficient and does process these applications relatively fast.
So come on guys, it does not matter whether you are Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats or even Ukip supporters, we need to fight for the rights of Britons, whether they are living abroad or in this country.
We want foreigners who contribute to our society to continue to remain here. Britain has a history of welcoming people and that is not going to change. What is only going to change is we want people who come into this country, to join us in building the nation, not sucking the life out of it.