Carmichael wants EU migrants to be given the right to remain

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has demanded that the government guarantee the rights of EU migrants to be given the right to remain following Brexit.

He told the House of Commons on Monday evening that he wanted to explain why the issue mattered to him as “a Liberal and an islander”.

Mr Carmichael said: “Those representing island communities understand that things very often have to run to different rules and we have different priorities.

“One of the most important aspects of keeping an island community viable, prosperous and growing is maintaining a viable level of population.

“In recent years and decades the contribution of EU citizens to growing and maintaining the services and businesses within the island communities that it is my privilege to represent has been enormously important.

“It matters to my communities, therefore, that the position of these EU nationals who live in our communities, and who contribute to our public services and businesses, should be clarified; they should be given the greatest possible reassurance at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Mr Carmichael said there was no aspect of island life these days in which you could not find EU nationals living and working.

He said: “They work in our fish houses, they work in our hotels and bars, they work in our hospitals, our garages and building companies, and they teach in our schools.

“If we go into the admirable University of the Highlands and Islands, we will find them leading some groundbreaking research there, especially in the development of renewable energy – a future for our whole country.

“That is why the position of these people in our communities matters to the people I represent, and they matter to me, and they should matter to us all.”

Afterwards Mr Carmichael said that EU migrants were not “something to be used as bargaining chips”.

He added: They are human beings. They are friends, spouses, parents, who came to our country to make a better life for themselves, and in the vast majority of cases they have done so, not just for them, but for the communities in which they live too.

“It is simply outrageous that the government are not prepared to provide certainty for these communities and individuals.”


Add Your Comment
  • James Sinclair

    • February 7th, 2017 19:33

    “they should be given the greatest possible reassurance at the earliest possible opportunity.”

    Well,who could argue with that? ….er,isn’t that(love her or loathe her) May’s policy?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • February 7th, 2017 21:47

    Very Sad, two EU countries leaders, chose to block a comprehnsive proposal, made as a matter of trust by May, protecting all EU citizens right to remain where they domiciled.
    “Theresa May has said her offer to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK has been snubbed by “one or two” European leaders.”
    She told European ambassadors in her keynote speech on Tuesday that she wanted to seal an early deal on the issue of the 3 million settled in the UK and the 1.2 million Britons in Europe, but she did not have the backing of all 27 member states. A self-confessed dishonest, Isles MP Alistair Carmichael, should really learn to keep his mouth shut. Shetland and our immigrant resident friends, deserve far better than this self-serving posturing politician, trying to make capital out of the spite of two EU leaders.

    • James Watt

      • February 9th, 2017 11:02

      I’ll assume you are attempting to link to this article.

      My reading of the text is that The PM had wanted to do an early deal and Merkel has said no, which has been consistent with her stance all along, no negotiations until article 50 has been triggered.
      As someone who clearly holds concerns about immigrants rights close to their heart Ian, I would assume you were just as disgusted as I was with what happened at Westminster last night when they voted against guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens, while in Scotland they were pledging to help 40 refugee doctors qualify to UK standards, which of these 2 actions do you feel represents the kind of government you want representing immigrants interests?

      • ian_tinkler

        • February 9th, 2017 12:59

        James Watt, “while in Scotland they were pledging to help 40 refugee doctors qualify to UK standard” I rather feel grandstanding about refuge e-doctors is fine, however the standards of science teaching are now so low in Scotland, perhaps improving training standards for Scottish students and doctors may be a better priority. The refugee doctors are perhaps best left to serve their own communities and countries once stability in their home countries is established. Recruiting for the Scottish NHS at the expense of other countries citizens is outside my ethic, sorry. We should train our own Doctors , not steal vital talent from other, less fortunate countries. “SNP under fire as Scottish education system records worst ever rating for maths, reading and science” DECEMBER 2016 •

      • ian_tinkler

        • February 9th, 2017 14:13

        My reading of the text is that The PM had wanted to do an early deal and Merkel has said no, which has been consistent with her stance all along, no negotiations until article 50 has been triggered. So, Mr Watt, May, as an act of trust and goodwill, condition that ALL, repeat ALL, EU citizens have a right to remain residing where they are at presently domiciled. Not a negotiation under under article 50, but an act of trust and goodwill. Merkel bloks such a move. Why, pure spite in my book or just a bureaucratic woman? Persistent nastiness, typical of the type, thank God we will be clear of her nastiness soon before she tries to do a Greece on us.

  • David Spence

    • February 8th, 2017 8:55

    If May is going to negotiate with the EU, after Article 50 is invoked, I would presume that the movement of people and/or EU citizens working or resident within the UK, would still stand?

    It is rather ironic, if this is the case, then the Brexit lot are going to be rather annoyed because, in most cases, their reasoning for voting was to reduce immigrants from the EU (the Brexit lot did not mention immigrants coming into the country which were outwith the EU).

    I would also presume that any person from within the EU, would, possibly, have to apply for an either passport or work permit? This again being based on what negotiations May has with the EU?

    It is very obvious that there are many people from the EU, here in Shetland, and their value to the community and economy is vital. What will the impact of Brexit be on the islands and rural communities within Scotland?

    Brexit, or the impression of, is divisive, xenophobic, racist and will be more damaging to the local economy in the long term, I think.

    We should embrace our EU nationals and appreciate their positive influence they have on the islands.

  • George Dickson

    • February 8th, 2017 9:29

    Mr Carmichael has only mentioned Europe here. He has totally ignored Australasia, Asia, South America et al. I wonder why that is? Is he being paid by the Europeans to con us into accepting what they don’t want?

  • Derick Tulloch

    • February 8th, 2017 10:24

    How the Brexit ‘negotiation’ will go:

    UK (in haughty tone). “We want full access to the Single Market for the car industry and the City of London, no freedom of movement and we don’t want to pay for it’

    EU “No”

    Negotiations end

  • Ian Tinkler

    • February 8th, 2017 12:29

    Ali Carmichael. He somehow seems, utterly indifferent to, the multitude of other immigrant Shetland peoples, who make up our diverse community. Many races and peoples who have absolutely no connection to the EU also form a very welcome part of our community… Not a single reference, for example, to our Commonwealth, Gurkha, Thai, Chinses, African, Indian, Pakistani and South American friends! Why is that so are they outside the Europhile bubble? These are the very peoples that the EU has discriminated against for years!
    Then we have the usual babble from our disingenuous friend, Ali Carmichael, “he urges the UK government to give a unilateral guarantee to those EU nationals already living in this country.” He utterly ignores the fact it was EU leaders, not the UK, that blocked a multilateral agreement, to guarantee domiciliary rights of all EU nationals!,

    • Alvin Leong

      • February 9th, 2017 10:15

      This is why I voted for Brexit. Amazingly, I was called a racist by a Remoaner. EU is more racist I tell him.

      • David Spence

        • February 9th, 2017 12:24

        Alvin, from what I understand, the majority of people who voted to leave the EU, were basing their decision on the UK having greater control of their borders. In other words, to a degree, a slight touch of xenophobia, I hasten to say.

        A large proportion of the Brexit lot were also moaning about people from the EU, taking jobs, but they did not mention a large percentage of those jobs the local population did not want to do……….or…………many employers regarded people from the EU, to be better, more reliable workers than the locals.

        In regards to racism, I think, in light of the mass migration of people from war torn Syria, there has been a backlash by the local people because of the negative impact thousands of people from the area of Syria, Turkey and other neighbouring countries has had on the communities.

        It is also, which this crisis highlighted, a clash of religions which has fuelled peoples negative opinion of the refugee’s. Many European countries now regretting taking in so many people from this troubled part of the world. There have local conflicts amongst local people and refugee’s, as well as a clash of cultures.

      • Alvin Leong

        • February 10th, 2017 10:49

        David, I am an immigrant myself too, although non-EU. So I had experienced first hand how unfair (maybe even racist/xenophobic) the difference in rules relating to EU and non-EU are. The examples are far more than the 200 words allowed on the comments, but to sum it up, I voted out so that fair and equal rules can be applied to everyone. i.e. EU or non-EU.

      • David Spence

        • February 10th, 2017 14:29

        I see your point, Alvin.

        However, given the short distance between the UK and Europe, I would anticipate there may be a slight difference in legislation in regards to trade, and possibly movement of people from the EU, compared to other country further afield?

        However though, I do think the Tories will be quite happy to sacrifice a single market with the EU, in order to gain a smaller market in the USA, despite the distance and a smaller market population.

        In other words, I think, the Tories are in it for themselves and what they can gain in terms of commercial gain under the trade deal known as TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).

        I firmly believe the Tories will sacrifice the economy of the UK, trade and jobs, as long as they can benefit themselves from TTIP.

        The Tories destroyed the mining, steel, ship and car industries in order they may benefit, I do not see anything different as to what is happening now and in the near future.

        Thanks to those Brexiteer’s (England, mainly) for allowing the Tories to do what they want, when they want and how they want.

  • Ali Inkster

    • February 8th, 2017 13:11

    Is it not a fact that the for vast majority of EU citizens that are currently in the UK, brexit will make no difference. The small number that could be affected are those recently arrived that are unemployed or in trouble with the law. it would seem the fuss is political and those making it are causing some of those EU citizens unnecessary grief. Thankfully most of those I have spoken to are well aware of the duplicity of those claiming to be acting in their interests.

  • David Spence

    • February 9th, 2017 14:28

    I would presume once Article 50 is executed, anybody from the UK wishing to travel to the EU, would require to have a passport? Alternatively, if working in the EU, a passport and a working visa/permit?

    If this is the case, one could also presume any EU citizen working in the UK, would also have to apply, through their Consulate, for a passport and a working visa/permit?

    I believe there are around 1.8 million British living and working within the EU? Would they be allowed to have free movement to visit the UK? If so, one would also expect the free movement of people within the EU going to the UK, which rather goes against what the Brexit lot, were hoping for.

    If free movement of people from the EU to the UK and vice-versa is unchanged, one could also hope that trading arrangements were also unchanging? However, if the UK has to renegotiate trading agreements for each individual country within the EU, this could end up being an expensive, job losing and tax increasing situation where Brexit ends being more destructive for the ordinary citizen within the UK?

    • Alvin Leong

      • February 10th, 2017 11:04

      Regarding your question about visa/work permits:

      If non-EU citizens can apply, and pay for, a visa or a work permit, why not a EU citizen? I had just applied and paid for a FLR(M) for my wife last year and it cost us £811 in application fees and £500 NHS surcharge, total £1311 for a 36 months visa. Before I was a British Citizen, I had to pay £1151 for a 3 years Tier 2 visa (work permit) and £600 NHS surcharge.

      As Farage said, apply the rules fair and equal to all, no matter EU or non-EU citizens.

      • David Spence

        • February 10th, 2017 11:46

        I see your point, Alvin, and, to a degree, I agree with you.

        However, how would this apply to an EU citizen living and working in the UK, contributing tax and national insurance.

        Although it is difficult to say what deal May will get for the UK, I suspect the present legislation (people from the EU still allowed to work and live in the UK, and the movement of people within the EU/UK still in place?) will apply for just now until such a deal is agreed upon?

        Because the Brexit lot (or the perception of) did not have a Plan B, it has very much put many things up into the air, and what the long term prospects, in terms of a relationship with the EU, will be, if anything?

        However, to slightly contradict myself, I believe this whole fiasco has been done due to the UK (the Tories) wanting a trade deal with the USA rather than the EU?

        I believe this strongly, as it is more than likely such a trade deal between the EU and the USA, is a none starter………….known as TTIP.

      • Alvin Leong

        • February 10th, 2017 15:33

        David, simple, make them apply for Tier 2 or FLR or whatever visa on the same rules and fees as any non British citizen, EU or not. It sounds like you are suggesting that my wife and me are not contributing tax and NI and therefore deserved to be hit with these fees. Fact is, we had paid tax and NI for over 10 years on top of the visa fees averaging £1000/year between us while we are not allowed to access any benefits. EU citizens do not need to pay anything and can access most benefits as soon as they got in.

    • Ali Inkster

      • February 10th, 2017 14:07

      They need a passport now.

  • ian_tinkler

    • February 9th, 2017 16:05

    David Spence, there is a big world beyond the EU. Passport and visa requirement is not that tough, befor the EU existed I did not have too much of a problem traveling around Europe. A bit harder for my Dad though, fortunately for him the USA lent a hand, alongside the Commonwealth and the Soviets. No Visa or passport requirements then either!!

    • David Spence

      • February 10th, 2017 9:25

      Indeed there is, Ian.

      I suspect the one and only reason the Tories had a Referendum was to have a trade deal with the USA, rather than with the rest of the world.

      Such a deal would have been hampered considerably if the UK was still a member of the EU, and the USA having to comply with EU Regulations and alike. Counter-productive, more expensive and the USA having less control, as the USA and the UK would have seen it?

      I may be wrong, and I hope I am, but given the state of this country being controlled by the Tories and the USA controlled by a Republican, and we all know the Tories love anything to do with the States, it is not surprising both these countries (but moreover the Tories) want a relationship where one country will be at the behest of another (the USA controlling the UK) and where, I think, we, the UK, will be worse off as a whole………………….but as long as the Tories can make the quick buck as shareholders of the US companies taking over, right? No thanks to the Brexiteers.

      Welcome to the UK, the slave nation of Europe.

  • ian tinkler

    • February 12th, 2017 10:32

    “I suspect the one and only reason the Tories had a Referendum was to have a trade deal with the USA, rather than with the rest of the world.” David Spence your needle has found two groves!!!And they new join up. Vile Tories and Vile USA. Love it, such dedication to prejudiced and dislike.


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