One of your correspondents (Letters, 9 February) entirely misrepresents Labour’s position on the rights of EU nationals in the UK.
For months Labour has been calling for the government to unilaterally grant residency rights for the 3 million EU citizens already in the UK – as the Guardian has reported (Keir Starmer: UK should guarantee EU citizens’ rights before talks begin, theguardian.com, 30 November).
I and other Labour MPs have repeatedly raised this point and I have been dismayed at the government’s lack of action. EU nationals should never be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations and the government could and should have resolved this months ago.
Not only did I and Labour MPs vote for an amendment to this effect in the Commons on 8 February, but I also drafted and moved amendments on this (NC6 and NC8) that would have ensured the legal rights of EU nationals in the UK. Jeremy Corbyn also pushed the prime minister on this in the Commons as recently as 6 February.
Resolving the legal status of EU nationals has been and remains a key priority for Labour, and we will continue to push amendments on this as the European Union (notification of withdrawal) bill moves to the House of Lords.
It is factually wrong and entirely misleading to suggest Labour has done anything other than led calls for this clear injustice to be resolved.
Shadow secretary of state for exiting the EU
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