Steun ons en help Nederland vooruit
D66 is a pro-EU party and is very disappointed by Brexit. Our Party Leader, Rob Jetten, has stated in the House of Commons in October 2018 during a speech: “D66 doesn’t want to see the UK leave the European Union this way. The Netherlands and Europe need each other, just like the UK does.”
Unfortunately, from our side of the Channel there is not much we can do, except for having a firm voice in the debate on Citizen’s rights and Brexit, in Brussels and in The Hague. And that is what we have done in the last months.
From the first days after the referendum we have always stated strongly that the rights of British in Europe and Europeans in the Netherlands (and the rest of the EU) must be protected. Just after the referendum we even launched a so-called “reporting-point” where Brits in the Netherlands and Dutch in the UK could reach us with all their Brexit-realted questions, since the embassies were not providing any information.
Sophie in ‘t Veld, member of the European Parliament and deputy negotiator on behalf of the British parliament in the Brexit negotiations, has always prioritized citizen’s rights in the Brexit negotiations, and kept in touch with groups as The3Million and BritishinEurope.
Member of the Dutch Parliament Kees Verhoeven has been asking Minister Blok of Foreign Affairs, over and over again: what will you do to protect the rights of Brits in The Netherlands? Luckily the government responded, and made a proper arrangement: Brits in the Netherlands that live here now will receive (after they have submitted a request) a permanent residence permit to remain in the Netherlands. Europeans in the Netherlands enrich our country, and we are very happy the Minister arranged this.
However, at this time many EU citizens in the UK are still in limbo and do not have clarity regarding their rights. Dutch D66 MP Kees Verhoeven got support in Dutch Parliament for his motion to ringfence citizen’s rights enshrined in the Deal (parallel to the so-called Costa-amendment) in case of a No Deal Brexit. In this way we made sure that our Prime Minister will have to plead in Brussels for the cause of ringfencing: so that Citizen’s Rights in the Brexit Deal will apply in any case, also in the No Deal scenario. We will monitor the Dutch government on the execution of this motion.
Last, but definitely not least, Dutch MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma has launched an initiative Bill to grant Dutch living in the UK and Brits in the Netherlands dual nationality, to overcome all the problems that they face due to Brexit. This bill is now in procedure in Parliament.
D66 does everything to protect citizen’s rights from fading due to Brexit. Many Brits and other Europeans that used their freedom of movement never voted for Brexit but face harsh consequences. D66 has consequently fought for minimizing those unfair consequences, and we insist on doing that in the future as well.