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Non-UK EU Nationals: Residency Rights

Volume 622: debated on Thursday 9 March 2017

20. If he will protect the rights of non-UK EU nationals resident in the UK as part of his Department’s plans for exiting the EU. (909157)

As the Secretary of State has reiterated, and as we have repeatedly made clear, we want to secure the status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals living in other member states, as early as we can. We know from my right hon. Friend’s visits around the EU that many member states agree with us on this, but we can protect the status of UK nationals in the EU only through formal negotiations.

I have had constituents come into my surgeries in tears because of the uncertainty about their future. They cannot apply for new jobs, they are worried that they do not know what their status will be if they apply for a university course, and they cannot apply for mortgages. These are not itinerant migrant workers—these are people who have made their homes and lives in Bristol—and they need assurances now from the Government.

We all recognise the hon. Lady’s concerns, and we all want to provide those assurances, but as was said by many in the debate in the other place, the best way of providing those assurances is to get on with the negotiation so that we can secure them.