JEREMY CORBYN criticised the Tories yesterday for failing to guarantee the residency rights of British and EU citizens before the triggering of Article 50, which will begin the Brexit process.
The Labour leader said ministers’ approach to the lives of people who will be affected by any citizenship rule changes was like something out of dystopian science fiction story The Hunger Games.
Mr Corbyn was responding to a leaked EU document which suggested other countries could adopt a tough approach in the Brexit talks because of the difficulties their citizens may face acquiring permanent rights in Britain.
It will be down to each member state to decide whether British citizens are allowed to continue living within their borders after 2019, the document added.
Mr Corbyn told the Guardian that the document showed “the human cost of a Tory-style Brexit.”
He continued: “Families, jobs and homes are all in the balance. There must be an end to this Hunger Games approach to Brexit negotiations, which gives no consideration to EU nationals in our country or British nationals living abroad.”
Brexit Secretary David Davis responded to Mr Corbyn’s call for clarification by insisting that a deal to guarantee residency was the top priority for negotiations with the 27 other EU member states.
Mr Davis said: “We are determined to get a good outcome to protect the rights of British citizens and European Union nation citizens and to get an answer quickly.
“It will be the very first thing on the negotiating agenda as far as we are concerned, once the procedure starts, because we understand that people feel uncertain and we want to take away all that uncertainty and replace it with residents’ rights, social support, healthcare — all of those sorts of things.”
Prime Minister Theresa May will face a challenge in the House of Lords over the coming weeks as Labour and Liberal Democrat peers attempt to rewrite the Brexit Bill that gives her permission to trigger Article 50, a step that is expected by the end of next month.
She has repeatedly said she wants to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain, but only if reciprocal arrangements apply to British people living in the EU after Brexit takes effect.
We need your support to keep running. If you like what you read please donate by clicking here