Deidre Brock MP

Member of Parliament for Edinburgh North and Leith

Debate: EU Nationals need rights secured now

All these people, who are making our communities better places to live, are swinging in the wind because this Government are in thrall to a xenophobic wing of the Conservative party and a right-wing, anti-foreigner media

Deidre Brock MP

TRANSCRIPT OF SPEECH:-

Don't the unintended consequences of the decision to leave the EU seem to be appearing thick and fast?

The implications of restrictions on EU nationals seem to be among the most unexpected, for some folks at least.

There has been some talk of scaremongering today, so let us hear the case of my constituent, Francoise Milne. She is French and has lived in the UK—mainly in Scotland—for 24 years. She has been married to a Scot for those 24 years and they have three children together. She has been refused a residency card for not exercising her treaty rights. She maintained the family home and reared three children while her husband served in the Marines, including on tours of duty in Bosnia and in Northern Ireland. He spent more than two decades in service and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is a member of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, which is perhaps more commonly known as the Queen's Bodyguard. The Home Office says that his wife cannot prove that she can support herself. Her husband's income and her smaller income together provide the matrimonial home and family life. The love and support she has provided for her husband helped him in his service. The idea that she not been exercising her treaty rights is ludicrous. I have written to Ministers and await an answer, but hers is not the only case that I have been asked to help with.

Marco Truffelli moved from Italy to London as a young man nearly 30 years ago. He built a career in the tourism industry, including as chief executive of VisitScotland for five years. His international management company has prestigious clients and he brings wealth into the UK, but his application for citizenship was refused on the grounds that he could not prove that he was resident in the UK. That was despite providing the receipts from HMRC that the Home Office asked for as proof of residence.

Mr Truffelli is married to a Scotswoman and has three children here. He never thought he would need to prove he had a right to live here. He applied for citizenship following the referendum. If Mr Truffelli does not match the profile of EU citizens this Government will accept, who can? I have also written to Ministers about Mr Truffelli's case.

Those are just two examples. There are many people with different stories to tell, but a common thread among the constituents coming to see me—and, I imagine, a whole lot of other Members—is the fear that people have: fear that they will no longer be welcome in their home, and that a bureaucratic decision will see them sent away from their family or left without a secure right to stay here. I have constituents who are living in fear of the state. Members should consider that: a modern state—a supposed democracy—where people live in fear of its actions.

All these people, who are making our communities better places to live, are swinging in the wind because this Government are in thrall to a xenophobic wing of the Conservative party and a right-wing, anti-foreigner media. That is ironic for a party stuffed with people who are proud of their ancestry—the Angles, the Saxons and the Normans, that is.

Stop the penalties for postal bills - Brock
Deidre takes on the PM on EU citizens' rights

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Monday, 11 December 2017

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