Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Amendment 2

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - Committee (1st Day) – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 14th January 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Hamilton of Epsom Lord Hamilton of Epsom Conservative 3:45 pm, 14th January 2020

My Lords, the Government have done an amazing amount to look after EU citizens in this country. I cast my mind back to the early days of the May Government when there was great pressure to unilaterally make steps to ensure the position of EU citizens living in this country. At that stage, the Government resisted the pressure because they said that this should be part of the negotiations. It should be reciprocated by the EU: it should do the same for our citizens in the EU. As far as I can make out, that has not happened. We have made a generous, unilateral gesture towards EU citizens in this country and there has not been reciprocation from the EU. Does that not mean that the Government have been rather mistaken to make this generous offer? Surely we have an obligation to our citizens in the EU and we should look to it to reciprocate anything that we do in this country. Will my noble friend address this problem when she sums up? As I understand it, British citizens in the EU do not, at the moment, have any freedom of movement between one EU country and another and there are certain problems with EU citizens in this country travelling to and from their country of origin in Europe. This has not been a very satisfactory outcome in the negotiations. Perhaps we would have been better not to have made this extremely generous, unilateral offer.