Brill group co-founder Fiona Godfrey said “Time is running out. The vote may have taken us one step closer to a people’s vote but it may also have taken us closer to the cliff edge of leaving without a deal.”
Shortly after midnight, Xavier Bettel (DP) tweeted: “I deeply regret the outcome of the vote as I regret Brexit as such. Now we need a fast and clear plan on how to proceed. Because that’s what we need to do: finding solutions, not problems. Our internal preparations to limit the damage in case of a no-deal shall go ahead in full steam.”
Foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn (LSAP) gave an interview to RTL radio on Wednesday in which he said it looked as though the UK “was headed in the direction of a hard Brexit.” But he also said it was clear from Tuesday evening’s vote that the British did not want a no-deal just as much as they did not want the agreement that had taken thousands of hours to negotiate.
Asselborn told RTL that he thought the UK prime minister would survive Wednesday’s confidence vote. “Just as Tuesday’s vote went badly for Theresa May, in my opinion it will go badly for Mr Corbyn. The government will remain in power this evening, but so will the uncertainty of where things go from here.”
He addressed the issue of the 4,000 or so British citizens living in Luxembourg and the many Luxembourgers living in the UK. “We must make sure those people suffer the minimum damage.”
British Immigrants Living in Luxembourg (Brill), a lobbying group for these residents, had scheduled a meeting with Asselborn for next week to discuss matters further. Meanwhile, citizens' rights groups British in Europe and The 3 Million are finalising a letter to the EU27 and Donald Tusk calling for ring fencing of citizens’ rights in an international treaty between the EU27 and the UK, a move which Brill is calling on prime minister Xavier Bettel to support.
Brill group co-founder Fiona Godfrey told Delano that the Tuesday vote “extended the uncertainty under which we are living. Time is running out. The vote may have taken us one step closer to a people’s vote but it may also have taken us closer to the cliff edge of leaving without a deal.”
“We need to know that we can continue to live, work and study in Luxembourg without becoming illegal aliens at midnight on 29 March. An international treaty is the only way to secure our pension, social security and other rights and to ensure that all UK citizens living in the EU27 and EU27 citizens living in the UK are treated equally. Fine words without action are of no comfort now.”
“Both the UK and the EU27 promised that our lives would not change as a result of Brexit. That promise has not and will not materialise but there is still time to step back from the abyss and take the 5 million citizens who have exercised their free movement rights between the UK and the EU27 out of the Brexit equation. Luxembourg was a strong supporter of citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement negotiations. We need Luxembourg to continue fighting for our rights before it is too late.”
The British Embassy in Luxembourg reitered the Prime Minister’s statement, saying "The Government is clear that the best way forward is to leave the EU in an orderly way, with a good deal."