Brexit: Nick Clegg to write letter to 500,000 people urging them to demand EU citizens' rights guarantee

It comes after one cabinet minister suggested EU citizens' rights were one of the UK's 'main cards' in negotiations

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Indy Politics

Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will write to half a million people urging them to send messages to Theresa May, calling for the rights of EU citizens in the UK to be guaranteed.

Mr Clegg’s letter claims ambiguity around whether EU citizens currently living in the UK will be allowed to stay is “unacceptable” and highlights that his own family is among those potentially affected.

His letter is part of a broader campaign named ‘Write to Remain’ that aims to bombard Ms May with demands – already taken up by some 13,000 people – to guarantee the rights of EU nationals to stay.

The message of the former Lib Dem Leader, whose wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez is Spanish, will be sent to 500,000 people this week.

It reads: "There is a great deal of uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

"But nowhere is that uncertainty more worrying and, frankly, unacceptable than the ambiguity surrounding the rights of European nationals living here and those of British citizens on the continent.

"So many families across the UK are made up of people from different EU countries, including mine. What they are looking for are immediate reassurances that their rights will not be affected by Brexit."

Mr Clegg will say that the EU summit taking place at the end of this week is the perfect opportunity for Ms May to guarantee EU citizen rights.

Write to Remain launched a website on Thursday to help people email Ms May to press her for an explicit commitment on the rights of European nationals and UK nationals living in other EU member states.

So far she has only said she hopes to guarantee the rights of EU citizens as long as the rights of UK citizens are also protected by other countries.

Meanwhile, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has come in for criticism for suggesting the future of EU citizens is one of the "main cards" held by Britain in its negotiations.

James McGrory, co-Executive Director of the Open Britain campaign, said: “This is an issue that unites Remainers and Leavers and people from across the spectrum. Next to no one thinks the rights of EU citizens here and Brits on the Continent should not be safeguarded.

“The Prime Minister’s repeated commitments are welcome but the Summit is the perfect chance to go one step further and guarantee the rights of EU nationals in Britain and Brits in living in the EU. This campaign is to let the Prime Minister know she has the overwhelming support of the public to do so.”