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Considering the impact of Brexit on people with M.E.

September 06, 2017

Action for M.E. has helped ensure the needs of people with M.E. are taken into account for a parliamentary meeting about the impact of Brexit on disabled people.

We have provided a briefing for the Countess of Mar, who is attending the APPG on Disability meeting today. The Countess of Mar is a campaigner for M.E. who convenes the Forward M.E. group of charities and voluntary organisations with a view to promoting joint working.

The September meeting will address the impact of Brexit on disabled people, including a launch of The Implications of Brexit for Disability Rights, a Disability Rights UK report. Guest speakers include Professor Anna Lawson, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, who co-authored the report, and Julie Ward, Labour Co-op MEP for North West England and a human rights campaigner.

One of the issues the report addresses is the impact of restricted freedom of movement. Disabled European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are less likely to meet the requirements for permanent residency which are often based on work and student history. This is also the case for people with M.E.: in a 2011 survey, Action for M.E. found that fewer than 10% of people with M.E. are in full-time work, education or training, with only a further 14% in part-time.

The next meeting of the APPG on Disability will take place in December, and focusses on the higher rate of unemployment among disabled people. Based on our previous employment work, including the SEE M.E. pilot employment project and our response to a Government green paper, Action for M.E. will be attending this meeting in order to share the views and experiences of people with M.E.