We welcome the start of Brexit negotiations following the declaration of Article 50 by the Prime Minister. We do so in the hope that the British government takes account of the voice of Eastern Europeans living in the UK, and safeguards the best outcome for their post-Brexit future.
The referendum last year brought uncertainty to many, including UK businesses, UK nationals and EU migrants themselves. Sadly, it also gave rise to negative reactions against migrants. We recognise and welcome the UK government and authorities’ handling of such incidents. This has given, and continues to give, East European communities strong reassurance.
The EERC represents a wide range of East European communities. We know from direct testimonies as well as our own surveys, that EE nationals are concerned about their future in the UK after Brexit.
No one can doubt their enormous contributions to the localities, and local and national economies. It is without a doubt that the benefits of living and working in the UK have helped many to improve their life chances. Such opportunities now seem to be under threat.
We appeal to UK government to ensure that East Europeans’ future rights, and their voice, are taken account of in the fullest extent during the negotiations.
East European nationals who have chosen to live and work in the UK have done so because the UK is a land of opportunity for those with aspirations, dedication and application. They contribute and benefit in equal measure. They enhance the very rich fabric of what we take to be the British multi-cultural, outward -facing, inclusive society.
EERC will continue to provide support and advice for all Central and Eastern European citizens in the UK. We will be actively involved in informing and influencing the negotiations towards Brexit.
We will work with the UK government, authorities and East European migrants themselves. We will strive to ensure that the EE migrants’ voice is heard and represented.