Article 50: EU nationals in Northern Ireland must have rights guaranteed

“Tens of thousands of people who cross the border on a daily basis for work, education and family purposes must be given guarantees that their rights are not going to be diminished.” – Patrick Corrigan

Amnesty International is calling for the rights of European nationals to live and work in Northern Ireland to be guaranteed after the UK leaves the EU.

The Office of National Statistics estimates that there are 89,000 European nationals living in Northern Ireland. Amnesty says that their rights to live and work are at risk unless the UK Government provides guarantees in advance of the UK leaving the EU.

Amnesty is calling on the UK Government to use the triggering of Article 50 as an opportunity to promote its commitment to human rights, by making it clear that rights will be prioritised and protected.

As a first step, Amnesty is calling on the Government to confirm that the rights of EU migrants living in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK will not be rolled back. 

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director of Amnesty International, said:

“With the triggering of Article 50, many European nationals and their families are living with profound anxiety about their futures in Northern Ireland.

“The future of tens of thousands of EU nationals who live and work in Northern Ireland could be at risk unless the government commits to guaranteeing their rights. Tens of thousands of other people cross the border on a daily basis for work, education and family purposes. They too must be given guarantees that their rights are not going to be diminished.

“Ministers should also be clear about their vision for maintaining all rights protections – on equality, discrimination, privacy and host of others – that derive from the European Union.

“Article 50 must not be the starting gun for a loss of human rights protections for the people of Northern Ireland. We expect politicians in London, Dublin and Belfast to work together to guarantee those rights post-Brexit.”

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