As the UK careers towards a no-deal Brexit, or even some kind of a deal, one thing that’s clear is that it means an end to our freedom to live, work or retire on the Continent.
For many in England, this matters little, but for London, connected and wired-in to the wider world, it’s the removal of an important right.
Nor is it just a right to work abroad. A lot of people in London have European connections, either through family, or because they themselves are from there. A removal of the right to free movement affects those people particularly cruelly, leaving many in a state of limbo at the mercy of Britain’s notoriously callous Home Office.
We have already seen the cruel and despicable way in which the Home Office has treated the Windrush Generation, many of them pensioners who have spent their whole lives in London, been to school here, worked here till retirement, built up our infrastructure, and brought up families here. Now, European Londoners find themselves on the receiving end of similar treatment.
Sadiq Khan says that London remains open no matter what, but that is surely wishful thinking on his part. So long as London remains tied to Brexit England, with no say over its own future, our freedom of movement will be taken away from us, and those of us who came here from the Commonwealth or Europe, even if we’ve lived most of our lives in this city – our city – may find ourselves deported abroad because we’re not sufficiently English for the Home Office.
We in Londependence want to keep our freedom of movement, and we want a fair immigration policy for everybody whose home is London. A policy that limits our horizons and discriminates arbitrarily against our people is not acceptable to London.