I have received hundreds of emails about Charles Goerens’ idea of offering Associate EU Citizenship to those who voted Remain. I will be voting AGAINST this Amendment (number 882).

As I am sure you are aware, I am the only MEP out of four in Wales that campaigned and voted for a Brexit. I am the only MEP in Wales who represents the majority of those who voted in the EU referendum.

Firstly, the UK Government is yet to activate Article 50 or begin formal negotiations with the EU. It was clear during the EU Referendum campaign that people wanted to be able to control the quality and quantity of immigration, and whilst we are in the EU and we are bound by the principle of freedom of movement, we are not able to have that control. But, until a deal has been agreed we are not sure what provisions there will be regarding the ability to visit, live, work or study in other EU member states. However, it is not unreasonable to establish limited-time visa-free travel, as we have with countries like the US.

Secondly, I do believe this is a coordinated strategy from members of the EU to further divide an already divided country. Proposing such an amendment seeks to divide the British public at the exact moment that we need unity. Amendments, such as this one, appeal emotionally to a portion of the British electorate, but don’t reflect the full reality of the referendum result.

Thirdly, this amendment, although very brief in its written form, has huge legal ramifications. It would be very complex legally to determine which British citizens can have EU citizenship, and therefore have to pay an EU tax and have an elected representative at EU level, and which British citizens don’t have these “added rights and responsibilities”. I envision that the UK government will negotiate a deal which allows us tariff-free access to the single market, visas which allow whoever wants to visit, live, study or work in EU member states, and implement rights and laws that exist at EU level, into UK level.

The question I would ask is this: what advantage would associate EU citizenship provide? Surely, if you want the rights that come from EU citizenship, there are responsibilities too. Something to reflect on. Further, you do currently still have the right to move to an EU member state and enjoy EU citizenship.

I will not be supporting this amendment for the reasons listed above.

If you have any further questions or would like to contact me further about this matter please email me at nathan.gill@europarl.europa.eu.