Citizen's Rally: Thousands to descend on Trafalgar Square for Brexit protest over rights of EU expats

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Thousands of protesters are set to descend on Trafalgar Square as part of a protest calling on the Government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit.

Organisers expect about 5,000 people to gather in the tourist hotspot from 6pm on Wednesday evening as part of the Citizen’s Rally, which will call for Europeans living in the UK not to be used as “bargaining chips” in the Brexit negotiations.

It comes after dozens of protesters gathered outside Parliament following Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday calling for a “free and simple registration process” for the UK’s 3.2 million EU citizens.

Organisers say London Mayor Sadiq Khan has recorded a video message, which will be played to crowds at the Citizen’s Rally. NHS nurses and tech entrepreneurs from Europe will also speak to the demonstrators.

The rally has been organised as part of a wider day of action organised by the 3million campaign group.

Speaking outside Parliament of Wednesday, 3million founder Nicolas Hatton said that Europeans feeling their rights were “under threat” prompted the rally.

The Frenchman, who has lived in Britain for 22 years said it is “wrong to move the goalposts after the match has started for those of us who are already living and working here”.

Demonstrators outside Parliament on Tuesday afternoon (AFP/Getty Images)

He added: “We came to Britain and made it our home. We paid taxes, we started businesses, we started families.

“All we want is exactly what we have now. We’re not asking for anything new or anything special.”

They reject the “settled status” option outlined by the Prime Minister, arguing it would strip them of equal family reunification rights and the ability to leave the UK and return after two years.

The activists want their rights guaranteed for life under the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to prevent a future government rolling back assurances.

But an early agreement has not been possible as the UK and EU have fundamental disagreements on the role of the ECJ.

Business consultant George Chiesa, 59, said members of society who “abide by the law don’t have to prove they’re innocent”.

He said providing documents proving he has lived in Britain stretching back 25 years would be “impossible, absolutely impossible”.

The Italian national said there was a danger “we will be deprived of the right to live in the place we call home.”

The rally will start at 6pm in Trafalgar Square and finish at 8pm


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