Something isn’t right when it takes a Belgian to call out for protection of British people louder and clearer than our own government. The EU referendum has resulted with a British Brexit from the EU, but Guy Verhofstadt has put his hand up and called for Brits in the EU to be protected.
Verhofstadt has been clear on his opinion over the whole referendum, calling it a “disaster” and a “tragedy” – clearly something he feels very strongly about. In fact, he speaks with more blunt honesty than our own leaders who, as they slither around giving a straight answer or daring an opinion. Usually they reserve the puerile personal attacks on each other for their parliamentary shouting matches.
At the moment Theresa May is holding on tight to her insistence that Brits in the EU should be guaranteed their status before she will commit to anything in the Article 50 Bill. This has upset EU migrants in the UK who are now living in uncertainty for their own futures. Understandably, many are rushing to apply for Permanent Residency or British Citizenship before they had envisaged needing to. There has been a massive surge in applications since Brexit.
But that is totally different to the “massive surge” in new immigrants coming to the UK that Farage warned us of as he proudly stood in front of a Nazi-inspired UKIP advert, dressed with the smug grin of a butcher standing in a field of cattle, sharpening his cleaver.
It has also ruffled the feathers of the House of Lords, who have equally ruffled back by returning the Bill with amendments – the main being the need to afford some level of assurance to EU nationals. However, Theresa May has done nothing but make quiet utterances that she has no intention of doing anything like that, and that she aims to ignore the Lords’ amendments.
So we turn to the Belgian man to speak out for British people in the EU. Good for him. Some might show it takes the bigger person to propose what is in the best interests of the people. We are lucky that Verhofstadt has spoken out for those British Brexit voices who must feel somewhat abandoned by the UK at the moment. As Theresa May fumbles around with political jargon and jingoistic attitudes, driven by party politics trying to unpick false promises, real people are being left to worry what their futures hold.
Of course the British Brexit expats could always come back to the UK, but why should the have to be in limbo any more than EU nationals who have settled in the UK? Why should they have to live a life of uncertainty at the behest of filthy-rich politicians?
Or maybe the most shocking part of this is that it was the people who were asked to make the decision in the referendum, and now they are being ignored. I am sure Theresa May will grin like a Cheshire cat as if she’d played that hand very well. But I’d say it was more of a matter of Verhofstadt offering a hand than gambling on the outcome.
Ask the public to flip the coin, but then give the coin to Tories to spend. A truly British Brexit!