WATCH: Boris Johnson says EU nationals can stay after Brexit 'whatever happens'
Boris Johnson told EU citizens living in the UK their rights will be protected “whatever happens” after Brexit, it has emerged.
The Foreign Secretary made what appears to be the unilateral guarantee campaigners have been looking for at an event about Polish-UK relations last Tuesday.
Theresa May has so far refused to make such a guarantee without reciprocal promises from EU member states about British migrants - although she has insisted she wants them to stay in the UK.
Mr Johnson’s comments emerged after the Polish embassy tweeted a section of his speech to the Belvedere Forum reception.
He said: "We have 30,000 businesses in this country that are Polish. We have one million Poles in Britain. We are thoroughly blessed, we are lucky.
"And I have only one message for you all tonight: you are loved, you are welcome, your rights will be protected whatever happens. Yes. You are recording this? Your rights will be protected whatever happens.”
But the Foreign Office told the Daily Telegraph Mr Johnson had merely been stressing the high priority of the issue in Brexit negotiations.