European Union citizenship is something that most of us have taken for granted. We can travel, work and study throughout the EU. We can go to live in another EU country. For me, European Union citizenship is an essential part of my identity and demonstrates a commitment to partnership and peace.
I have always encouraged constituents to contact me with their concerns but I have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of emails over the past months from people distressed about losing their EU citizenship.
I do not believe that the government has the right to take away our EU citizenship against our will. Research I published last year by experts in international law shows this is the case. We have rights that cannot be stripped away.
Plaid Cymru is challenging the government on this. Those of us who are EU citizens have the right to remain EU citizens. Leaving the EU does not end that.
Last week in Westminster Plaid Cymru MPs led a debate on European citizenship and called for UK nationals to retain EU citizenship. The House of Commons supported the motion. This was a fantastic step forward in our campaign. The UK government must start listening.
We have the support of many organisations and individuals determined to defend our fundamental rights. Their numbers are growing.
I have been working to ensure that both EU nationals living in the UK and Welsh citizens in other member states will not lose any of their rights either. It is unforgiveable that people cannot plan their future because their rights have not been safeguarded.
There is huge confusion about what exactly the government is planning on leaving the EU. The government’s own studies certainly show that, whatever the final picture, we will be worse off. More and more sectors like agriculture are warning of the dangers that face us. But I believe that our most basic rights must not be threatened.
Please support the campaign by signing our petition on the Plaid Cymru website at www.partyof.wales/iameuropean_petition_page, and by using the hashtag #IAmEuropean on social media.