Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

Part of Informal European Council – in the House of Commons at 4:57 pm on 6th February 2017.

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Photo of Matthew Pennycook Matthew Pennycook Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 4:57 pm, 6th February 2017

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, it depends on the terms of the sentence. New clause 6 seeks an in-principle guarantee from the Government that they will secure the rights of EU nationals.

Few would question the fact that Brexit has divided the country, but on this issue there is a clear consensus that the Government should act decisively to give certainty to EU nationals. A motion tabled by my right hon. Friend Andy Burnham in July last year, which called on the Government to commit themselves with urgency to giving EU nationals currently living in the UK the right to remain, was passed overwhelmingly in the House, and that parliamentary support is mirrored among the public. Polling by British Future shows that 84% of people, including 77% of leave voters, support the ability of existing EU nationals to stay in the UK. The Labour party has called repeatedly for the Government to act to end the uncertainty that those people face. Indeed, such is the level of consensus that even Migration Watch and the UK Independence party have joined those calls.