I know that the EU referendum upset many people. I know that the result left some feeling anxious and depressed. Whilst we must respect the decision of the UK as a whole to leave the EU, I also respect and care deeply about the views and votes of the many thousands of people in Vauxhall who wanted to remain. In particular, I entirely appreciate the worries of EU citizens who live, work and contribute here – I am one hundred per cent clear that they must not lose their rights.
Before the Prime Minister triggered Article 50 to begin the Brexit process, I tabled a motion in Parliament to ensure the rights of EU nationals. I enclose a copy of that motion with this letter. I wanted this resolved by now to give people the reassurance that they deserve. I believed then and continue to believe that this should be the priority, and that if necessary we should grant those rights unilaterally as a sign of good faith. People should not be used as bargaining chips.
The Labour Party manifesto makes precisely that promise, and I wholly welcome it. I endorse the Labour plan to put jobs and the economy first and unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in Britain.