MEP Richard Howitt (UK), co-President of the European Parliament All-Party Disability Rights Group of MEPs (Disability Intergroup), shared his press release in relation to BREXIT (referring to the possibility of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union) with ENIL’s members and supporters.
11th March 2016.
TEN MILLION DISABLED PEOPLE WILL LOSE IF BRITAIN LEAVES “PEOPLE’S EUROPE” – NEW FRONT FOR EU REFERENDUM
DISABLED PEOPLE stand to lose more than any other group if Britain votes to quit the European Union.
Leading disability rights campaigner Richard Howitt MEP will say tomorrow (Friday, March 11) in a major speech to the Papworth Trust national disability charity, in Cambridge, that people with disabilities will always want to tear barriers down rather than erect new ones.
Co-President of the European Parliament’s all-party Disability Rights Group of MEPs, Richard Howitt MEP will say job assistance to thousands of people with disabilities, access requirements to buildings and public transport and the right to legal defence against unfair denial of social care services could all be lost if Britain votes to leave the EU.
Richard Howitt MEP, who worked in the Disability Movement before entering politics, says it is important to open up a ‘new front’ in the EU referendum campaign which should be about ‘people not politicians’.
Citing European achievements in access requirements, Richard Howitt MEP will say:
“In all the talk of ‘free movement’, what about the right of a wheelchair user to move freely to visit another European country?
“Discrimination doesn’t stop at borders.
“On the table, we have a European-wide general Accessibility Act, that could further transform the lives of millions of people.
“People with disabilities will always campaign to pull down barriers. In the European referendum, the Disability Movement should campaign against erecting new barriers.”
Richard Howitt MEP will say 87,000 British disabled people were helped towards work by European-funded training last year, and that EU ‘remain’ campaigners should ‘proudly attest’ the ability of people with disabilities to defend legal rights through the European courts, adding:
“For the disabled woman who sued her local authority for cutting her care package, protection against ‘cruel and degrading treatment’ is an important defence of decent public services in the current climate of austerity.”
The lesson to the EU ‘leave’ campaign is that independence and inter-dependence can go together, for people and for nations.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Reporters, photographers and camera teams are invited to cover Richard Howitt MEP’s speech “British Disabled People are Stronger in Europe” to staff and service users at The Papworth Trust Centre, Hawthorn Way, Cambridge CB4 1AX at 12noon tomorrow (Friday 11 March).”
You can read Richard Howitt’s full speech at this link.