European Union Citizenship

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion 3:33 pm, 7th March 2018

Being a citizen of the EU brings tangible benefits, and I want to return the debate to focusing a little on the impact of European citizenship on UK citizens. It allows people from the UK to move easily to mainland Europe and between European countries, be it for work, study or pleasure. Furthermore, when we are in Europe it enables us to enjoy a range of rights on healthcare, education, work and social security. Young people I meet feel particularly strongly about this issue. Given the insecurity clouding the horizons of so many across the UK, it is not surprising that the material freedoms afforded by EU citizenship are held to be so important.

I should mention in passing that it is important to remember that EU citizenship has always been additional to UK citizenship. Never have they been mutually exclusive. For many, EU citizenship and the rights that it entails have become synonymous with opportunity, offering them a chance to broaden their horizons. As has been mentioned, there is no legal reason why a limit must be placed on such opportunity—no reason why UK citizens must be stripped of their rights and freedoms.