EU nationals must not be a negotiating chip

16 May 2017

A letter from the architectural profession

The architectural profession, as well as the wider body of creative and cultural industries, are extremely concerned about the impact of the decision to leave the EU.

Regardless of the inevitable commercial damage, most of us believe this will have deeply negative consequences by severely limiting the transfer of information, ideas and influence, as well as restricting common programmes of education and research.

While we are fearful about the future in general, we are particularly concerned about the Government’s attitude towards EU nationals. We have benefited enormously from the transfer of knowledge and influence that results from EU nationals working in the UK. Furthermore, we have benefited from our ability as individuals and as companies to trade services and knowledge with our European neighbours, creating a better understanding between peoples.

Within this context, we are appalled that the Government should use those who have made considerable personal and professional commitments to this country, and who enrich our own culture, as a negotiating chip. This is not the behaviour of a civilised society, and certainly runs counter to the respected British traditions of decency and fairness.

We have no doubt whatsoever that the people of this country would not accept the eviction of EU nationals and we therefore see no reason why this unusable threat should remain on the table. We ask that the Government immediately clarifies this situation, otherwise we will not only lose our place in Europe but we will lose our dignity in the process.

Bob Allies, Will Alsop, Ron Arad, Adam Caruso, David Chipperfield, Peter Cook, Trevor Dannatt, Tony Fretton, Michael Hopkins, Patty Hopkins, Eva Jiricna, Amanda Levete, Farshid Moussavi, Eric Parry, John Pawson, Richard Rogers, Alan Stanton, Peter St. John, Paul Williams, Chris Wilkinson