The CBI and the TUC have called for urgent action by the UK government and EU negotiators to guarantee citizens’ rights after March 2019.
In a joint statement, both organisations, representing millions of public and private sector workers and 190,000 businesses, urged each set of negotiators to rule out the possibility that ‘no deal’ could lead to continued uncertainty for the millions of EU citizens who live in the UK, and UK citizens who live in the rest of the EU.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, and Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, said:
“After 15 months of human poker, the uncertainty facing 4 million European and UK citizens has become intolerable.
“It is a blight on the values of our nations. Millions of workers and thousands of firms are today united in their call to leaders on both sides to find an urgent solution. A clear guarantee of the right to remain for citizens in both the UK and EU27 is needed within weeks.
“EU citizens account for 10 per cent of registered doctors and 4 per cent of registered nurses across the UK. Millions more work in the public and private sectors delivering public services and making a vital contribution to our economy.
“They need to hear that they will be allowed to remain in the UK, whatever the eventual outcome of negotiations. Not only is this important for our economy, it is the right thing to do.
“Once agreed, this guarantee must be implemented independently of the rest of the negotiations to avoid the risk that ‘no deal’ in March 2019 leads to uncertainty and heartache for millions of people.”