Statement on EU nationals debate

Today the Labour Party have called a debate in the House of Commons calling on the Government to urgently commit to giving EU nationals currently living in the UK the right to remain in this country.

I have released the following statement:

My message to EU nationals who are living in this country and are worried about their future is clear. We stand with you and we will stand up for you. It is an honour and a privilege to represent one of the most diverse constituencies in the country, and on behalf of the thousands of EU nationals currently living in Tottenham and their families I call on the Government to make a firm commitment today that their right to remain in this country will not be put at risk and will not be used as a bargaining chip in any future negotiations.

Any delay will merely fuel insecurity, anxiety and worries about the future and it is a cause of great concern that this period of uncertainty has been exploited by racists and extremists. In recent days I have been heartbroken at the outpouring of racism, xenophobia and hatred that has been unleashed in our country, often targeted at EU nationals. We have seen vandalism of Polish community centres, verbal and even physical abuse on our streets and people being told to ‘go home’. This behaviour is totally abhorrent and simply does not reflect the Britain that I know or British values. For the sake of unity and community cohesion the Government has a responsibility to make their position clear beyond all today.

Millions of EU citizens have made Britain their home. They are raising their families in the UK, they are working in the UK, they are paying taxes in the UK and they are making hugely valuable contributions to both local communities and our national life. The Government must clarify the long-term legal status of EU nationals in the UK, confirm that they will not be deported or asked to leave this country and condemn this recent and troubling increase in hate crimes.

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