“It is worth your knowing that the proposed agreement [between UK Government and EU] directly affects our family. We now have nowhere our family’s right to stay together and live as as a family is guaranteed.
In the UK, my wife is not, it transpires, eligible for permanent residency, because she didn’t have private health insurance (it’s essential for non-UK EU nationals living in the UK – who knew?) when we had our daughter – and so, in the official view, benefited from NHS support illegitimately (this was not queried at the time, and we were not billed).
As a result of today’s accord, I no longer have the right to live in Italy. It is now discretionary: Italy can make me apply for temporary leave to stay, and reapply for permanent status.
Both I and my wife, despite her native citizenship, would both be subject to systematic criminal checks, and could be deported before appeal. And, worse still, our exercise of free movement to any other EU states is now defined as a “life choice”, not a right. Theresa May has totally caved in on our rights, to save her own face.
It is a shameful day for the Government, and for the UK, for allowing them to get away with it. We were encouraged to be European in our outlook and the practical details of our lives, which we have built around the idea of being citizens of the EU. It will be a bleak day for us all if the European Parliament votes to accept these terms.”