Following the meeting between the S&D President, Gianni Pittella, and the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Luca Visentini, over the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, Pittella and Visentini jointly stated:
"Brexit risks disrupting the lives of millions of citizens and workers both from the UK and EU. The House of Commons will be called upon to vote to protect the rights of 3 million EU nationals settled in Britain after Article 50 is triggered.
"This debate is being watched carefully by Britain's EU partners and how it is conducted has implications for our future relationships.
"People’s rights cannot be used as bargaining chips during the negotiations on Brexit, neither by the UK nor by the EU. People cannot be treated in the same way as a financial service. Reciprocal equal rights and the guarantee to remain living and working for both UK and EU citizens, regardless the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, should be ensured. No one should be allowed to bargain with the rights and lives of people.
"The UK and EU economies and jobs must not suffer from Brexit, and the best way to serve the interests of the citizens of both parties is to develop in-depth economic and social cooperation between the UK and the EU, in line with the EU Single Market rules and the EU acquis.
"The S&D Group and ETUC will follow the developments on Brexit very closely, together with their Labour and TUC members in the UK and ICTU in Northern Ireland, to make sure that common objectives are achieved."