Jeremy Corbyn works with European socialist parties in government to lobby for rights of British people in EU and EU citizens in the UK
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, is coordinating EU-wide efforts by socialist parties to protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.
Today, Jeremy has written to leaders of seven European socialist parties, allied to Labour and in government, to lobby, at every level of the EU, for the rights of British citizens abroad and to reaffirm Labour's commitment to the rights of EU residents in the UK.
The letters follow discussions Jeremy Corbyn initiated at a Party of European Socialists conference that Labour hosted in London last week.
With the British government likely to trigger Article 50 in the coming weeks and negotiations around Britain’s future relationship with the EU about to begin, millions of people across the EU are uncertain and fearful about what the future holds for them.
In the letters, he appeals to the "common voice" of socialist parties across Europe to help guarantee the rights of "around 3 million EU Citizens, living, working and contributing greatly in our societies" and "an estimated 1.5 million British people living in different parts of the European mainland."
Theresa May has resisted Labour calls for the government to act unilaterally to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK. It currently looks likely to take the issue of rights for EU migrants in the UK and British migrants in the EU into what could be a difficult and unpredictable period of negotiations.
Jeremy Corbyn states this is the reason he is writing "as a friend and sister party colleague" asking "for you and your government to work formally with other socialist colleagues in the EU council and insist that the current rights of both EU and British citizens are guaranteed and insist this decision is the first to be made once Article 50 is triggered."
"As socialist parties, we all agree that we must work together to make sure the basic values we share are fully represented in a final agreement between Britain and the EU. Therefore I see no better way to start by making this issue a key priority for us in the coming months, we cannot allow our citizens, our neighbours and our friends be subject to further uncertainty or be used as a bargaining chip."
"We as socialists must stand up for the rights of everybody and I am confident this can be done through the Brexit process and beyond, if we stay true to our beliefs and work together."