TUC chief slams Theresa May over 'inhuman' EU nationals policy

Posted On: 
12th September 2016

The head of the TUC has launched a stinging attack on Theresa May, calling her position on EU citizens living in the UK “immoral and inhuman”.

Frances O'Grady addressing the TUC Congress today
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister has so far refused to guarantee that EU nationals currently in the UK will retain their right to live and work here once Britain leaves the bloc.

Downing St argues that the Government must see the same guarantee for British citizens living in the EU before it can make a commitment.

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Frances O’Grady’s barbed criticism of Mrs May came as she address the TUC Congress in Brighton this morning.

“EU citizens living and working in the UK must be given the right to remain. They are our friends, our neighbours, our workmates,” she said.

“It is plain immoral and inhuman to keep them in limbo. The public agrees: guarantee their right to stay.”

The Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said the Government “hopes” to be able to guarantee EU nationals’ right to remain in the UK.   

"The Prime Minister has made the point that we would hope to be able to be in a position to do that,” she said.

“The only situation where we would not would be if European countries were not able to make commitments on the position of British nationals once we leave the EU."

Ms O’Grady also demanded that the trade unions be given a bigger role in the Brexit negotiations, along with the devolved governments.

“We need a cross-party negotiating team, including the nations, London and the North. And it can't be a case of cosy chats with the City and the CBI either," she said.

“As the voice of working people, trade unions must be at the table too.”