The British initiative in Europe sent an open letter to British Prime Minister Theresa may in response to her statement on Friday afternoon after the Salzburg summit.
“Dear Prime Minister,
We represent over 30,000 UK nationals living in the EU27. We listened to your statement this afternoon on the outcomes of the Salzburg summit with extreme concern.
Firstly, whilst we welcome your softer words on protecting the rights of the 3 million EU nationals living in the UK this is nothing more than your moral obligation and the UK cannot do anything else other than to maintain all their current rights even in the event of a no deal.
However, we heard that we are now at an impasse in the negotiations with the very real threat of a no deal. What we did not hear was one single word about the future of 1.2 million UK nationals living in the EU27. You appear willing to take the UK out of the EU with a no deal and with no thought for your own nationals.
This was a disgraceful and unacceptable omission on your part. Over the last 18 months the UK has negotiated away our rights, you and your Secretaries of State have refused to meet with us and now you completely ignore us at a critical time in the negotiations. We are and we remain British citizens. You have obligations towards us and we expect you and your government to respect and honour those obligations. You said in your statement that you have treated the EU with nothing but respect and you now expect the same. Well, the same is true of us. We have engaged with your government, we have put forward our concerns and we have asked you to respect us and our rights and yet you have not done so.
In the circumstances, if you do nothing else on Brexit, you need to talk to Michel Barnier and the EU27 and jointly guarantee that our rights and the rights of the 3million will be maintained and ringfenced in an agreement under Article 50. As a very minimum this must include all the rights agreed in the citizens’ rights chapter of the draft Withdrawal Agreement. And this must be agreed at the October EUCO.
We look forward to receiving your reply at your earliest opportunity.