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Islington Labour Steps Up Fight for Rights of Local People from Countries in the EU

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Islington Labour has joined forces with Labour colleagues across London to step up its campaign calling on the Tory Government to immediately guarantee the full rights of people from other countries in the European Union.

On Monday (27th November) Cllr Richard Watts, along with the 20 other Labour Leaders of London Boroughs, wrote collectively to the Prime Minister, urging her to guarantee the full rights of people originally from other countries currently living in the UK.

Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, says: “Islington is a diverse borough that is home to people from across the world, including around 30,000 people from other countries in the European Union. They are our friends, family and neighbours who make an enormous contribution to our community, with many working in vital public services since the NHS.

“By writing collectively to the Prime Minister, Labour Leaders across London are sending a clear message that the Tory Government needs to stop treating people from other countries in the European Union as a bargaining chip. It is an outrage that, almost eighteen months since the UK voted to leave the European Union, the Government has still not guaranteed EU Citizens’ basic right to remain, live and work in the country.”

The Labour Leaders’ letter calls on the Prime Minister to immediately guarantee the full rights of all EU Citizens living in the UK and that their rights will not be affected in the event of no Brexit deal. The demands add weight to the Labour Party’s same repeated calls to the Government.

The letter is the latest stage of Islington Labour’s ongoing campaign to stand up for local people from other countries in the European Union. Last month, it launched a petition calling on the Government to guarantee the full rights of EU Citizens living in Islington now.

Islington Labour councillors will also be voting at Full Council (7th December) to continue to put pressure on the Government and create a new advice page on the Council website to offer guidance to local people from countries in the European Union.

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, says: “Our public sector, council and community depend on people from countries in the European Union. We would be poorer in every sense of the word if they felt they could no longer remain in the UK because the Tory Government has not guaranteed their full rights.

“Islington Labour is on the side of local people, wherever in the world they are from. That is why we are working hard to offer support and advice to local people from other countries in the European Union. We will not rest until the Government has done the right thing.”

EU workers represent 13 per cent of London’s workforce and made a net contribution of £20bn to public finances between 2000 and 2011. They also represent 10 per cent of doctors and 7 per cent of nurses in London’s NHS. Their potential departure would have serious repercussions for Islington and London.

There are clear signs that the Government’s failure to guarantee the rights of people from other countries in the European Union is having consequences. Research from the Nursing and Midwifery Council this month shows that the number of nurses and midwives from Europe leaving the register has increased by 67 per cent since last year. Data from the ONS continues to show a sharp fall in net migration, largely due to a fall in the number of EU workers moving to the UK and a rise in EU workers leaving the UK.

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