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Our letter to Boris Johnson

Our letter to Boris Johnson

Following recent reports into the treatment of EU nationals on entering the UK, British in Europe has written to the Prime Minister, Dominic Raab and Priti Patel to express our concern. Here is the body of the letter:

"We write in response to news reports last week that EU citizens arriving at the UK border are being placed in detention if they are unable to satisfy border agents that they have a legitimate reason for visa-less travel.

As representatives of 1.2 million UK citizens living in the European Economic Area and Switzerland currently navigating the implementation phase of the citizens’ rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement, we were appalled to see such disproportionate treatment of non-British nationals on arrival in the UK. There really is no excuse for treating any person who arrives in the UK with such a lack of dignity and respect, and such treatment does not reflect British values. This applies irrespective of their nationality, whether they are a tourist, job-seeker or asylum applicant.

In this year of Brexit and CoP26, the eyes of the world are on the UK. If the UK truly seeks to be a global leader in soft power, people-to-people links are key, as the Government’s recent integrated review highlighted. How the UK treats other nationals and the foreign family members of UK citizens like us who wish to engage with the UK will be a key indicator of the UK’s good faith and the success of this policy.

Any administrative difficulties and delays in Withdrawal Agreement implementation that we might face in some of our EU host states do not compare to experiencing a hostile immigration environment and we are thankful for that. We hope that the UK will ensure reciprocity. We note newspaper reports suggesting that instructions have been issued to change this policy and Minister Kevin Foster’s clarification concerning visits to the UK for job interviews.

We hope therefore that there will not be a repeat of recent events."

We have written to Boris Johnson on several occasions and not received a reply but will report back if we do receive one this time.

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