Campaign for an Independent Britain
At election time we know that politicians are not on oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They put their cases as favourably as they can but they are not entitled deliberately to misinform. You would expect a lawyer and former Crown Law Officer to be aware of this. Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General appears either to have no regard for truth or to be remarkably ignorant of the law even though he is a practising barrister.
The Guardian reports him saying that 2 million UK citizens working in Europe would become illegal immigrants overnight if Britain were to leave the EU. This is a massive untruth. People who have acquired rights of residence will still have those rights even if the EU treaties cease. They are known as “acquired rights”, “executed rights” or “vested rights”. They are so firmly established that they have acquired the status of “customary law” which means that they stand as a fundamental principle of international law, not needing a specific treaty to confirm them. There is even a parliamentary briefing note about it . So Mr. Grieve has no excuse.
Unfortunately Mr Grieve stands in a long line of deceivers concerning the EU, starting with the late Sir Edward Heath who assured everybody in 1971 that joining it involved “no essential loss of sovereignty”. Years later on television he admitted that he knew all about the project for the Euro currency and for a United States of Europe at the time he said this.
Even that enthusiastic Europhile Lord Hattersley half admitted the truth deficit on a Radio 4 programme (3 Feb 2000) . “Not only was it wrong for us to deal superficially with what Europe involved, but we’ve paid the price for it ever since, because every time there is a crisis in Europe, people say, with some justification, “Well we would not have been part of this if we’d really known the implication””. Mr Grieve’s scaremongering about the effects of a British exit from the EU is plainly a crude attempt to stir up FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) among the expatriate community in a manner completely unsupported by the facts. UK citizens who have been resident in an EU member state will have the right to continue as residents, after the UK leaves the EU.
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