EU citizens in the UK may only have one more chance to influence decisions in their country of residence.
Tomorrow’s elections are more than just a vote on local issues. They are the voice of those who did not have a chance to vote in the EU referendum and the general elections, those who did not get a say on Brexit, on the treatment of immigrants by the Home Office, on negotiations with the EU or third countries – in other words, those most directly and harshly affected by political decisions in the UK.
For them, tomorrow’s local elections will be a last chance to tell Theresa May’s government, and the ineffective and hopelessly divided Labour opposition, that they have a voice, too, and that they are not happy with the direction this country is going.
The right to vote in local elections is the only right the 3 million EU citizens in the UK, many of whom have been here for decades, have left. It is not good enough for the government to say “if you want to vote, become a British citizen” when citizenship applications cost £1,400. Effectively, it is like saying “if you want to vote, no matter how long you have lived here and how much tax you have paid, you better be rich”. In the future, if Britain crashes out of the EU, those who are unable to pay will become second class citizens like the Windrush generation: tolerated (just), but unable to participate in our democracy. The alternative, for many, is to leave.
Don’t allow this to happen.
This is not the Britain I know and love. This is not the London I feel part of, vibrant and international, open and tolerant. This is not the society I want to bring my daughter up to support and call home.
I decided to join the Liberal Democrats and run for the Council because I want to support my neighbours, and because I deeply care about local issues, safer streets and cleaner parks. But I also want to send a signal to Westminster, and to our neighbours in continental Europe and the rest of the world: not everyone agrees with the way Theresa May is going. Not everyone wants this kind of Brexit, even if they want to leave the EU. Jeremy Corbyn’s national Labour party has let EU citizens down, does not support a public vote on the final Brexit deal, and is incapacitated by in-fighting.
Liberal Democrats are the only party who takes a clear, consistent and honest stance for an open and tolerant Britain – a Britain that welcomes all who abide by its law, regardless of race, religion, conviction, provenance or ability to pay for a passport.
- If you are an EU citizen, vote Liberal Democrats because we will fight for your rights in the UK.
- If you are a British citizen, vote Liberal Democrats because we will keep Britain open, involved and competitive on the global stage.
- If you are a Commonwealth citizen, vote Liberal Democrats because we will enshrine your rights in law.
- If you are Remain supporter, vote Liberal Democrats because we will fight for a public vote on the final Brexit deal.
- If you are Leave supporter, vote Liberal Democrats because if we ensure that Britain will have a say in how to reform EU institutions and laws to make them more democratic.
Tomorrow is your day. Speak up.