.@sajidjavid told his story at #CPC18 and discussed the "word 'home'". Personal stories and home--both very important, yes. So I'm going to tell you mine @sajidjavid: my story as an EU migrant exercising freedom of movement and that of the place I considered my home, the UK. 1/
It's a story that according to you and @theresa_may shouldn't exist. Why? Because based on your immigration proposals the UK would not be my home. Had the rules you set out today existed when I was thinking of making the UK my home, I would not have been able to come. Because 2/
when I was offered my first job here, PhD in hand, I was paid £26k p.a., so well below the salary threshold you think should determine who can or cannot come to the UK, define who contributes to life here. Based on that I would not be here. That's where my story would end. 3/
But I am here. Because of the reciprocal right of freedom of movement I could choose the UK, just like Britons too can choose to live in 30 other countries. I could come here to work. To volunteer. To make friends. To pay tax. To build a life. To love. To make the UK my home. 4/
Home - I agree with you about it: "Home – is where you feel safe, comfortable and in control." That is how I always used to feel about the UK. Until @theresa_may decided to make me, and 3.7 million of us EU citizens, bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations. 5/
Since then I, all of us, have lived in limbo. 831 days today. Guarantees just waffle. Agreements and promises with many caveats or not legally-binding. Eternal limbo to come given the nature of implementation plans if there is a deal, and ongoing uncertainty if there is not. 6/
Do I feel safe in my home? - No.
Do I feel comfortable in my home? - No.
Do I feel in control? - No.
All of that because of an obsession May and others have with people like me; people cast by many as having harmed the UK when all we did was choose the UK as our home. 7/
Ending freedom of movement to end that, our ability to chose the UK as our home - it's not something to celebrate. Not only because of how tragic it is for us EU citizens, but also because it robs 65 million Britons of their right to choose their home in 30 other countries. 8/
Home is the "base for going out into the wider world", you said @sajidjavid. Unless it's the world of the closest 30 neighbours, then you'll put up a wall where none exists now. "Together", you said @sajidjavid, "we will build a stronger home. Unless one is not part of "us". 9/
"Outside our home", you said @sajidjavid, "the winds of division and extremism are blowing strong [...] the appeal being made to intolerance, to closed societies". But "not in Conservative Britain", you said. I guess that must be why you are forcing 3.7 million of your 10/
neighbours, colleagues, friends and family, forcing me, to apply to stay? But the UK is the home of respect, you said @sajidjavid. ... Only you have shown us no respect. Zero. You have, however, as your slip of words so clearly revealed, fought hope - any hope we ever had. 11/
So no, you chose not "the path of modern Britain. Tolerant Britain. Global Britain." You chose, time and again, the path of a glorified Britain that has never existed in the first place. And intolerant Britain. An insular Britain. 12/
Doing all that not only fails to prevent welcoming people "into our home [the UK]" in future, it takes the home away from people like me, 3.7 million of us EU citizens. Because with all that you said about future immigration, you again cast us as some kind of abomination. 13/
That does not help "heal those divisions", and it certainly does not help "build that stronger home" you want to build. And while you rightly say that "it is fundamental to our sense of security that the homes and streets we live in feel safe", mine no longer do. Not just 14/
because I have experienced hate directed at me as an EU citizen like so many of us, but also because of the threats I have received for standing up to Brexit. I don't go to events on my own anymore. I put my hair in a knot to be less easily identifiable. Is that feeling safe? 15/
But what irony @sajidjavid that you should say "every individual and every community must feel safe to live their lives in our society", when you and the government have always done all you could to make 3.7 million of us EU citizens less safe to live our lives here. 16/
That, so much is clear, I too "never expected to say in 21st century Britain." And you are right too that this is the moment where you will "define [yourselves] at home and abroad." In fact: you already are. Not least by how you are treating us. 17/
But this is not something you can see in your story. You spin distortions instead. You say freedom of movement, which is what the EU enabled, "constrained" the UK. I say it gave it opportunities and rights that the government could always have extended to others. 18/
You pander to Leave lies on immigration by giving credibility to "legitimate concerns" that you say "many people – most people – have had", when there is essentially no evidence for that.The government's own report on EEA immigration made that crystal clear. 19/
So no @sajidjavid your words for us are meaningless. You have made it clear that we are not part of this country, not part of this home, because if you believed that, believed that this is our home too, you would not force us to apply to stay. By again falsely casting freedom 20/
of movement as the cause of all ills, as a one-way street into the UK that suggests our coming here has been unsustainable and done harm, you have already done what you today set out to do: made it clear to us "what [you] are for, and what [you] are against." 21/
Clearly us EU citizens you are against. Because why else would you choose to make our stories those where we have to apply to stay in our home? One simple question. Only one possible answer. 22/
Like you, I too "speak with feeling about this country", because for me, "Britain was a choice." The choice in my story I made out of a deep love for this country. That is why I too "have always been an optimist about Britain’s future." ... Until the EU referendum. 23/
So no @sajidjavid, this is no longer a country that is "a beacon for the world," it is now quite the opposite. And the world can see it. Because of Windrush, deportations and what because of what is being done to us EU citizens - and your own citizens, for that matter. 24/
And no @sajidjavid, this won't be a stronger home built together. It will be a weaker one falling apart. One of which I, many of us EU citizens, no longer feel a part of. As I wrote in my letter recently, we have not changed, but everything changed. The profoundness of home 25/
never changes. But I get no sense of home from the UK anymore. But neither do I get it from the place I was born ... because that’s not the place I chose to make my home. I am homeless now, it seems. 26/
So now I hold on to stones for a sense of home - stones I collected in places that I love and that, therefore, remind me of friends, bonds and hugs. Of everything I had here in the UK. 27/
Everything Brexit and this government’s actions and attitudes are destroying every day - and not only for me, but for 3.7 million of us. Whatever happens at the end of March next year, there is no undoing of this. At best, our sense of home will have an irreparable dent. 28/
At worst, it will be so damaged that we have to move on and look for it elsewhere. Either way, one thing is clear: today's speeches and attitudes on display at #CPC18 did not help me recover my home nor find hope, and what that means is clearer to me now than ever before. 29/29
PS: forgot to say: all quotes from @sajidjavid's speech. Full text here: blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/full-t…

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More from @TanjaBueltmann

Oct 7, 2018
Earlier this week, as I was doing some prep for my @CakeWatchCast debut, I realised that today would, for me, mark *1250 days* of public pro-EU campaigning - since the EUref obviously also against Brexit and for citizens' rights. That is a long time and worth some reflections. 1/
What many of you probably don't know as you weren't following me at the time: it all began with a focus on HE and academia as the first thing I did was set up a pro-EU group for Academics. 2/
Since then a lot has happened and many things have changed - not least the number of my followers. I am very grateful to you all for taking an interest in what I have to say. 3/
Read 18 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
.@theresa_may So it’s freedom of movement and immigration again. Ok, but then let’s talk about what your words *really* mean.
➡️ This really means that 65 million Britons will lose the right to freedom of movement and if you want visa for us, they’ll have to have them too. 1/
➡️ This really means that 65 million Britons, for the first time in decades, will not be able to freely choose where in 30 countries they want to live, work and love. 2/
➡️ This really means that 65 million Britons are being lied to yet again about the impact of freedom of movement—and after the govt’s own report made it clear that the contribution of EEA citizens is very positive. These lies won’t help “ordinary working people” one bit. 3/
Read 5 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
I have long since expressed concerns about how migration is being taught at schools in the UK. This is from a Year 8 'knowledge organiser' used by an Academy; it confirms why there is every reason to be concerned.
[I am sharing this with permission from a pupil's parent]. 1/
Some parts of the organiser are ok -- it starts off, for example, with points about why migrants might leave their country of birth, referring to push and pull factors. But what follows then (the bit on the image above) is profoundly worrying and simply shocking. 2/
To single out one group of EU nationals - Polish - is problematic enough. But what is extremely concerning is that the points then made RE: problems are factually incorrect, Moreover, to cast this in terms of "unsustainability" is also a grave misjudgement. And to suggest that 3/
Read 8 tweets
Sep 23, 2018
As promised, here is the link to 🔺Endangered Rights: The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens🔺published with @FES_GB/@FESonline. If you want to help raise awareness RE the situation of @The3Million & @BritishInEurope, please read it and share it widely. library.fes.de/pdf-files/id/1… 1/
People often ask me what they can do to help: sharing this publication is one concrete step you can take. As it’s available electronically, it’s easy to do. You could email it to your MP, for example, and ask them to support the recommendation I make at the end. 2/
The publication will be publicised in the UK and throughout the EU, including in Brussels, by FES offices to help make sure that no citizen of @The3Million nor of @BritishInEurope is left behind because of Brexit. 3/
Read 5 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
When I boarded the train to London early this morning I knew my day would be focused on the rights of @The3Million: today I am pleased to announce the publication of “Endangered Rights: The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens” with @FES_GB.
Little did I know how topical I’d be!
My thanks to @FES_GB for publishing this as part of its Perspective series to help raise awareness of the still unresolved #citizensrights concerns of @The3Million & @BritishInEurope. Thanks in particular to the Director of the FES London office, Christos Katsioulis. 2/
The publication will be available from the FES website later this week. It will be publicised in the UK and throughout the EU, including in Brussels, by FES offices to help make sure that no @The3Million nor @BritishInEurope citizen is left behind because of Brexit. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Sep 20, 2018
Since Cameron announced the EUref, many politicians, commentators and large parts of the press, have played with the lives of millions of EU27 citizens. Yet despite that, we are apparently wrong to take issue with a video game that places us into a ghetto post-Brexit. 1/
Wrong that we wonder why on earth @bbc would just go with that, happily tweeting that "the player tries to live as a European immigrant in a post-Brexit UK". Yes, trying to live ... that is what the 3.7 million of us are trying to do. Because this is our home, not a game. 2/
Can those defending the game really not see what bad a call this was? At a time in which hate crimes are committed against us, and where we remain in limbo and have no guarantees, how could the idea of placing us in a ghetto not be considered misjudged? Can you really not 3/
Read 4 tweets

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