Planned protests in Florence in support of citizens’ rights as Theresa May arrives in the city to give a speech on Brexit

New Europeans, a Europe-wide organisation championing free movement and EU citizenship rights is organising a vigil at the site of the former British Consulate and a silent march in the city centre to protest at Theresa May’s failure to give immediate, comprehensive, unilateral guarantees to EU27 citizens and their families in the UK following last year’s Brexit vote.

Speaking about the rally, Roger Casale, Founder and CEO of New Europeans said:

“We ask that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU are respected. That means that the EU and the UK should stop negotiating with people’s lives and legislate the guarantees these citizens need right now. No government has the right to play with people’s future and treat them as a commodity that can be traded.”

Security will be heightened and there are reports that the British Embassy has been told it cannot announce the venue where Theresa May will be making her speech. One possibility is the Scuola Maresciallo Carabinieri but this is not yet official.

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The rally will be attended by many retired British people living in Florence, some of whom are in their 80s or 90s. It will also include lots of younger British people who have made Italy their home under the Freedom of Movement rights.

New Europeans has informed the authorities that this is a peaceful and silent protest and called for the event to be policed appropriately.

Roger Casale commented;

“There is nothing for the police to worry about! It is we the citizens of Europe that need to be worried. We represent the mainstream but we are caught up in a freak show called Brexit. Whatever happens with Brexit, we need all the rights we had previously to be guaranteed for all EU citizens in the UK and British in Europe. If these rights are not guaranteed families will be broken, the old, sick and the disabled and their carers will not be adequately protected. Not protecting these amounts to the violation of our most basic human rights such as family life, safety, fair treatment and security.”

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