“The British voted to leave, why should they get to keep their EU citizenship? Shouldn’t they deal with the consequences? Why should I, from the rest of the EU27 support this?”
First of all, it is imperative that we understand that this is not about politics and nationality or about “British elections”. The sole focus of this initiative is citizenship, justice and European identity. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU threatens to take away the European citizenship of approx. 65,110,000 individuals despite the fact that only 17,410,742 (26.74%) voted in favour of this. Perhaps that is an acceptable outcome and none of us should care about the lives of others, but maybe we are being given an opportunity to prove that “birds of a feather flock together” and that Europeans cannot and will no longer be divided and conquered by bursts of nationalism. So again, this is not about Great Britain and its history; it is about Europe and its destiny.
Most of us are probably familiar with the detailed results of the referendum and the fact that people up to the age of 44 voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the Union. It is for this reason that much of the sentiment after the election has been presented along the lines of “taking away our future”. To put it differently, if Rome wasn’t built in a day, then the Treaty of Rome is not likely to build a new Europe in just one generation (even if it almost has). If you are a national of one of the other 27 Member States and you believe in Europe, this initiative matters to you. You might notice that all of the phrases in this page say the same thing despite using different languages and concepts. That is precisely because at the root of all these proverbs is the same idea. The idea that “birds of a feather flock together” tells us that people will stand up and fight for their own, and the idea of Europe demands that we speak up and protect the rights of British nationals because they are European citizens, just like we are.