Following the EU Referendum result, our CEO, Richard Pennycook, has written to The Times urging that clarity and reassurance is given to EU citizens already working in the UK. Our Co-op employs many thousands of citizens from other EU countries and Richard believes there should be a distinction drawn in EU exit negotiations between those already living and working here and the future movement of people from the EU.

Here’s the full text of Richard’s letter, published in The Times on Wednesday 29 June:

“It is clear that the negotiations concerning our withdrawal from the EU will be protracted, and we will all need to manage through the uncertainty caused. Those EU citizens living in the UK, and indeed ours living elsewhere in the EU, face particular worry. In the Co-op, we have many thousands of valued colleagues who find themselves in this position. The free movement of people will be a key area of negotiation between our Government and other Member States, and we would urge the negotiators to draw a distinction, rapidly, between those already here and those who may wish to come in the future.”

Richard Pennycook
CEO, The Co-op

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. […] As a Co-op and as a major employer in the UK I felt it was our responsibility to raise the issue on their behalf. I did so directly to George Osborne, the then Chancellor, when we met at a conference in the week following the Referendum result and then in a letter published in The Times on 29 June. […]

  2. […] our Chief Executive Richard Pennycook quizzed the Chancellor on the matter. He has also written an open letter to other Co-ops in Europe to encourage them to make similar calls on their respective Governments to make sure people are not […]

  3. If they are EU citizens then back to wherever they come from. There is great unemployment amongsrlt the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish, Afro-Carribean,Pakistani, Arab, Chinese communities who have a right to be here after brexit and who could easily fill any of the well paid vacancies created by Poles, Bulgarians or Albanians who will thankfully no longer have any reason to be here stealing employment from British people.

    • Harry,

      we will have, as far as I can understand it, a points-based system of immigration after we leave the EU which means outside of the English, Welsh, Scots and Irish (presumably you mean Northern Irish given Eire is part of the EU) nobody else will have more of a right than anyone else to be here – it will be purely on a points-based system.

      I remember my Irish grandfather telling me he was accused of stealing employment when he came over to England in the 1920s – didn’t seem to matter when he fought in World War II mind.


    • I’m confused. It wasn’t so long ago the argument was “Europeans OK, everyone else out”. I didn’t know petty nationalism could flip-flop between the two? And check your facts, the jobs being taken by many Europeans are either highly skilled or menial. In the case of the former, very few UK nationals could fill those positions. In the case of the latter, it’s quite clear they don’t want to, else they would.


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