Exiting the Eu: Science and Research

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:40 pm on 19th December 2016.

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Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 9:40 pm, 19th December 2016

I would be delighted to accept the hon. Gentleman’s invitation. I have already visited one university in Northern Ireland, but I would be delighted to visit another, as soon as the opportunity arises.

There has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, or of British citizens in the EU, as an immediate result of the referendum. The Prime Minister has been clear that during negotiations she wants to protect the status of EU nationals already living here, and the only circumstances in which that would not be possible are if British citizens’ rights in European member states were not protected in return. I was glad to hear her repeat in her statement today her desire to see such a deal come early. Looking to the future, I will repeat again what my Secretary of State has said before:

“We will always welcome those with the skills, the drive and the expertise to make our nation better still. If we are to win in the global marketplace, we must win the global battle for talent. Britain has always been one of the most tolerant and welcoming places on the face of the earth. It must and it will remain so.”