As the deadline to reach a Brexit agreement approaches, and with no obvious way forward to reach a deal, Alyn Smith MEP has authored a joint letter to EU leaders calling for swift action to protect the rights of citizens in the event of a chaotic no-deal.
The letter, cosigned by twenty-four other UK MEPs, calls for the EU to ring-fence citizens' rights so that those people already living and working across the EU will finally have certainty as to their position in the event that no agreement is reached by 29th March.
"It is sad indeed that we have reached this day where we now cannot wait any longer. It seems the only person not aware of the clock ticking is the woman who started the countdown in the first place, Theresa May. But for all those people living and working across the continent, they have already spent far too long living in uncertainty about what Brexit will mean for them, and we now call on the EU to do what it can to lay their fears to rest.
"It should not be that we are calling for the EU to act unilaterally - the UK government could have made this a priority but they didn't. But now we feel that there is no other option than asking the other member states to do what our own government has refused to do.
"Just addressing the citizens' rights part of the brexit negotiations is not ideal but right now, anything that can be salvaged is worth trying for and so I hope the other EU leaders will heed this call."