We did it! Our statement
British in Europe is delighted that members of the House of Lords voted this afternoon in support of amendment 11 to the Immigration Bill. Hundreds of UK citizens living in the European Economic Area and Switzerland wrote to them over recent weeks to explain what it would mean to us and our families if we are unable to return to live in the UK with our non-UK partners after March 2022. Elderly parents will not have carers, siblings will not have support and non-British parents will be separated from their British children. Peers heard our voices, took notice of our concerns, and voted to keep families together, and we are immensely thankful to them for doing so.
We now call on the Government to accept this amendment to the Immigration Bill when it returns to the House of Commons.
Nobody voted for British citizens to lose this right to return with our families. During the Referendum, Vote Leave and the current Prime Minister promised us that our rights would not be adversely affected by Brexit. But this Government’s planned changes to the immigration rules remove this most fundamental of rights. Thanks to this afternoon’s vote, the Government has another opportunity to make good on part of its pre-Brexit promises to 1.2 million UK citizens living in the EEA and Switzerland.
We are a finite group of people asking only that our rights should not be taken away from us. Our amendment covers only those UK citizens in the EEA/Switzerland who fall within scope of the withdrawal agreements and who have existing non-British close family members at the end of 2020. Most of us will probably not leave the countries where we have made a home, but what we are asking for is the right to do so with our families if necessary. Is that too much for British citizens to ask of a British Government?
READ the British in Europe letter to peers.
Watch the debate in full:
Read in Hansard (from 8.33pm)
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