COVID has made 2020 a tough year for everyone, and even more damage to our country is expected from further lockdowns and Brexit as we roll into 2021. During the Leave campaign, Johnson, Gove and Patel promised our European friends and neighbours that they would automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain – but this was just another Brexiter lie. EU citizens will now see their right to stay taken away at the end of June unless they have been granted ‘Settled Status’.
EU citizens pay their taxes and deserve to play a full role in our democracy, and with the local elections coming up in May, EU residents have been left confused about their rights.
Wokingham Town Council’s Liberal Democrats brought forward a motion to ensure that adequate communication is provided on who can vote. This motion was passed unanimously with support from all parties and independents, and the Town Council formally requested support from Wokingham Borough Council and John Redwood. WBC has confirmed that they will ensure EU residents are fully informed about their rights – but unfortunately John Redwood declined to offer any support, hiding behind the Electoral Registration Authority.
While we appreciate that he may not want to encourage voters who had no reason to support Brexit, we believe that democracy flourishes when everyone is encouraged to participate.