Excellent work by Andy Burnham, showing that – even with mutiny in its ranks – Labour remains a powerful political force.
This may also put the Conservatives on the back foot as they are split over this issue.
Labour will force a vote in Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday) calling on the Government to allow EU citizens currently living in the UK permission to remain.
The debate comes amidst rising concern over the status of more than three million nationals from other EU states following Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham will call on Ministers to put an end to the uncertainty.
On Sunday, the Home Secretary admitted she intends to use the EU nationals as part of ‘negotiations’. She alarmed EU citizens further by saying ‘nobody necessarily stays anywhere forever’.
During an Urgent Question in the Commons on Monday, Home Office Minister James Brokenshire said it would be ‘unwise’ to give immediate assurance before European Governments pledged the same for UK nationals across Europe.
Last night, at a hustings for the Conservative leadership, Theresa May added that she ‘hoped’ EU residents would be able to remain.
Theresa May is expected to respond to the Shadow Home Secretary in Wednesday’s debate, before all Tory leadership candidates will be forced to declare their position during a Commons vote.
Labour’s motion calls for the Government to allow EU citizens, residing lawfully in the UK prior to the EU Referendum, the right to stay and explicitly rules out their use as ‘bargaining chips’.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:
“It is simply not good enough for the Home Secretary to say that she ‘hopes’ EU nationals will be allowed to stay. These are people who have put down roots here, with children, families, caring responsibilities, who pay taxes and contribute to our economy and society. They deserve much better than being used by the Government as bargaining chips.
“Having opened up question, it is essential that the Home Secretary puts her leadership campaign on hold and comes to the House. It was clear from yesterday’s debate that she does not have the support of Tory MPs on this matter. She should listen to them, to the millions of people worried about the future and remove the uncertainty now.”
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