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

I thank the hon. Lady for her intervention, although I fear that perhaps she mistakes the point I was making. Perhaps I was not clear enough: I am discussing the rights of UK citizens and their ability to travel to Europe to work and to live. The issue is not freedom of movement; I am talking about a system that people would be able to opt into, but that they could also opt out of.

It is entirely possible to pursue associate EU citizenship for UK citizens, and there are ample precedents from which such a scheme could draw. Stephen Gethins has just mentioned Greenland, and my hon. Friend Hywel Williams mentioned the experience in Ireland. Perhaps Members would like to look into the interesting situation of the citizens of some of the Crown dependencies in the Channel Islands, where there is a bespoke and unique relationship. I suppose the point I am making is that it is a matter of political will. When it comes to negotiations, there is a way to ensure that benefits are afforded to everybody equally.