“Many unanswered questions”: Expat responds to Brexit Party candidate who is standing in North East Bedfordshire

A Brexit Party candidate who has spent 20 years living and working as a teacher in Italy has been challenged to be “more transparent and informed”.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 11:33 am

Earlier this week the Times & Citizen report that Amanda Hunter was standing for the party in North East Bedfordshire.

But while Ms Hunter has spent decades working in Europe, she was accused of fundamentally misunderstanding Brexit - by another English teacher who has spent 20 years working in Italy.

Clarissa Killwick, who lives in the Veneto region, said: “I am astounded that Ms Hunter is asserting that ending freedom of movement wouldn’t stop young people from doing what she and I have done.

“With some vagueness, she says: ‘As far as I know, there’s an agreement between Italy and the UK.’

“First of all, it is not just young people who move abroad for work. Having been made redundant in the UK aged 40, I retrained and now work in an area where mother tongue teachers are in high demand; a prime example of freedom of movement allowing someone, with ease, to go to where the work is.

“Furthermore, if she is standing to be a member of parliament, she should be well aware that bilateral agreements cannot be signed prior to Brexit, and therefore cannot be in place already.

“She should also know that although the Italian government has partially protected some of the rights of Brits, in its so-called ‘Brexit Decree’, it only applies to current residents not future ones.”

Ms Hunter, who lives in Cambridgeshire, told the Times & Citizen that Brexit was about democracy, and that she wanted a No Deal Brexit.

She added that she was sure the UK would swiftly negotiate a range of better deals with the EU after quitting the union.

But Ms Killwick said that the would-be MP was failing to address a number of vital issues, from healthcare and employment rights of Brits living abroad, to the impact on housing and the NHS at home.

She said: “Having been in Italy for so long, it was also surprising that Ms Hunter did not mention any consideration for her compatriots living in Italy now, or indeed the rest of the EU27 - an estimated 1.2million people altogether.

Far from being a ‘Clean Break’, with barely a month to go, no deal would make us third country nationals overnight and there are still many unanswered questions on serious issues. Please ask Ms Hunter, for example, what she recommends for teachers who will no longer be able to apply for contracts with schools which are only open to EU citizens?

“There is no joy either in a ‘Clean Break Brexit ‘ for UKinEU nationals who are S1 health-card holders - i.e. those who, by reciprocal agreement, have their healthcare delivered in their host country but billed back to the UK. The UK government announced on 23 September that, in the event of no deal, they would only continue paying, in most cases, for six months.”

She added: “This is a terrifying prospect for the elderly, the sick and the disabled, who are being told to make alternative arrangements for healthcare immediately, even though it could be unaffordable or unobtainable.

“Such people have been told that they could return to the UK for their medical treatment. Seriously, is that what the UK wants? To have lots of Brits returning to clutter up doctors’ waiting rooms and take up hospital beds, not to mention needing somewhere to live?

“Ms Hunter could help prevent such undesirable situations arising by declaring a commitment to ring-fencing citizens’ rights, but will she?

“In any case, in the interests of all citizens in the constituency she wishes to represent, Amanda Hunter should reveal in a more transparent and informed way what she means by a ‘Clean Break Brexit’, or a Brexit in any shape or form.”

Read the original story here.