Theresa May: ‘Dear EU citizens, I want you to STAY’
Theresa May has issued a direct appeal to EU nationals living in Britain urging them not to leave after Brexit by telling them ‘I want you to stay’ and that they ‘will not be used as a bargaining chip’ during Brexit negotiations.
Mrs May said she is ‘delighted’ to have returned from Brussels with a guarantee for the rights of EU nationals living in Britain.
In an email sent to 100,000 EU nationals, she said she felt ‘proud’ that they had chosen to live and work in the UK.
In a bid to try to win over Europeans who have moved to the UK, Mrs May mentioned that she understands the ‘underlying anxiety’ many EU nationals are feeling regarding their future.
Mrs May has recently held talks at Downing Street with Boyko Borissov, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, focusing on the post-Brexit rights of EU citizens.
The Prime Minister also wrote: ‘I greatly value the depth of the contributions you make – enriching every part of our economy, our society, our culture and our national life.
‘I know our country would be poorer if you left and I want you to stay.’
Following the recent agreement with the EU over a two-year transition deal, the PM is now facing demands to extend the current date new EU migrants can arrive in the UK from 2019 to 2021. After which time new EU migrants would lose the automatic right to reside in the UK.
The PM has also pledged to adopt a new system for settled status applications and that it would be up and running next year, costing £72.50 for the standard adult version.
Mrs May said: ‘So right now, you do not have to do anything at all.
‘You can look forward, safe in the knowledge that there is now a detailed agreement on the table in which the UK and the EU have set out how we intend to preserve your rights – as well as the rights of UK nationals living in EU countries.
‘For we have ensured that these negotiations put people first. That is what I promised to do and that is what I will continue to do at every stage of this process.
‘I wish you and all your families a great Christmas and a very happy New Year.’