WATCH: Sajid Javid sparks confusion as he confirms ministers will back Brexit citizens' rights bid
Sajid Javid has sparked confusion by claiming ministers will back an amendment aimed at EU citizens’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit - despite Theresa May yesterday saying they would not.
The Home Secretary appeared surprised when asked at the Home Affairs Select Committee whether the Government would support Tory backbencher Alberto Costa’s bid during a motion tabled by the Prime Minister later today.
The MP’s move calls on the UK and EU to make a joint commitment to apply the part of the withdrawal agreement that outlines citizens’ rights ahead of Brexit to ensure they come into force regardless of whether Britain leaves with or without a deal.
When asked by Stuart McDonald what was “wrong” with the amendment, Mr Javid replied: “Nothing”.
The Cabinet minister then asked when it was not the Government’s position to support it, to which the SNP MP replied “yesterday”, when the Prime Minister said it.
After laughing off the muddle, Mr Javid then added: “What Mr Costa is doing with this amendment, which I think is perfectly correct is trying to find more ways for Parliament to give that reassurance.”
In a statement to the Commons yesterday Mrs May said: “The EU does not have the legal authority to do a separate deal on citizens’ rights without a new mandate.
“This is a matter, unless it is part of the withdrawal agreement - obviously, we have negotiated something within the withdrawal agreement; good rights for citizens within the withdrawal agreement - for individual member states.
“We have taken up the issue with individual member states. A number of them have already given good guarantees to UK citizens and we are encouraging those that have not to do so."
The bid is backed by MPs across the House, including Jeremy Corbyn, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Tory arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg and committed Remainer Dominic Grieve.