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Standing up for Islington

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Islington Labour petition calls on the Tory Government to immediately guarantee the rights of people from countries in the European Union.

Islington Labour is turning up the pressure on the Tory Government, calling on them to immediately guarantee the rights of people from countries in the European Union living in the borough.

Sign the petition now.

Islington Labour has launched a petition which calls on the Tory Government to:

  • Immediately guarantee the full rights of all EU citizens living in Islington
  • Stop using our friends, family and neighbours as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations
  • Guarantee that EU citizens’ rights will not be affected in the event of no Brexit deal being reached

The petition is the latest stage of Islington Labour’s ongoing campaign to stand up for local people from countries in the European Union.

Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, says: “Islington is one community and around 30,000 people from countries in the European Union have made their home here. They are our friends, family and neighbours and it is an outrage that the Tory Government is continuing to treat them as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations.

“Islington Labour is on the side of local people, including EU citizens. Ever since the Brexit vote, we have repeatedly called on the Tory Government to immediately guarantee their rights. This petition, which we are encouraging everyone to sign, is part of our ongoing campaign to make the Tories see sense.”

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwarz, Executive Member for Community Development, says: “People originally from countries in the European Union make a huge economic, social and cultural contribution to Islington. It is not an exaggeration to say that we would be poorer in every sense of the word if we lost them because the Tory Government have not guaranteed their full rights.

“I have been working with local community groups to coordinate advice for EU citizens in Islington who are uncertain about their future. We will not rest until the Tories have guaranteed the full rights of people from countries in the European Union, who are an important part of Islington’s community.”

Islington is home to people of all backgrounds, including around 30,000 people from countries in the European Union. They make a huge contribution to the community and many work in vital jobs such as the NHS. Despite this, the Tory Government is continuing to use them as bargaining chips in their Brexit negotiations and has failed to guarantee their rights at every opportunity.

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 economic and health repercussions for London and Islington.

Despite the Tories’ posturing, there are still many unanswered questions about the rights of people from countries in the European Union. It is unclear which of their rights the Government wants to retain, whether people who have lived in the UK for less than five years will have fewer rights, what the cost for applying for ‘settled status’ would be and what would happen in the event of no Brexit deal being reached.

Shortly after the UK voted to leave the EU and in the face of increased reports of hate crime, Islington Labour held a rally on Highbury Fields to send a clear message that Islington remains united. It has also demanded the Tory Government protect vital funding to help local people back to work, which is backed by the European Social Fund, after Brexit. Islington Labour councillors have also voted for two motions in support of EU citizens and to pressure the Tory Government at Full Council.

The Labour Party has consistently called on the Tory Government to immediately guarantee the rights of people from countries in the European Union since the Brexit vote.

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