Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:06 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 2:06 pm, 11th December 2018

I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention and compliment her on the work that she does on behalf of her constituents. All of us represent EU nationals, some in greater numbers than others. We all know the horror and stress that they have been through over the past two and a half years—the stress where one partner comes from one part of Europe and the other from Britain, and the stress on those children is huge—which is why, straight after the referendum, on our behalf, Andy Burnham moved from this Dispatch Box a motion guaranteeing permanent rights of residence for all EU nationals. That was agreed on a non-binding motion. Two and a half years later, we still have not had the absolute legal certainty from this Government on the protection of those EU nationals. They deserve it, and we also need to recognise that they have made a massive contribution to our economy, to our way of life, to our health service and to all our public services. We should thank them for it and assure them that they have a permanent place in this country, whatever the outcome of these particular rounds of talks.

We will work across this House to prevent any further damage to our economy, to our international standing and to our democracy, so I say to the limited number of Government Back Benchers opposite: let Parliament have a say on this shabby deal. Let Parliament take back control of it, because this Government have lost the ability to lead, the ability to negotiate and the ability to speak for this House in those negotiations.