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Tue, 4 August 2020

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MPs supporting Article 50 are 'shamelessly slamming the door on EU migrants'

MPs supporting Article 50 are 'shamelessly slamming the door on EU migrants'
3 min read

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron writes ahead of today's House of Commons votes on Lords amendments to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. 


For every MP who is currently wrestling with their conscience over the decision of how to vote tonight, the question is clear - what kind of country do you want Britain to be?

Do you want to shamelessly slam the door shut on EU migrants who have played such a vital role in the progress of this country? Or do you want to send out a message that we recognise the vital role they have played in boosting our economy and staffing public services like the NHS?

Are you willing to undercut our democracy by handing Theresa May a black check for a destructive Brexit? Or do you understand that this would be a betrayal of Britain's interests and of future generations who will have to live with the long-term consequences?

This is the choice that MP’s face today. 

Last week, Liberal Democrat’s in the House of Lords stood up with Peers from across the House, to provide resolute answers these questions. They defeated the Government to safeguard the rights of EU citizens’ after Brexit and for Parliament to have a meaningful vote on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In doing so, the Lords took the opportunity to courageously stand up and say that they believe in a Britain that is decent, outward-looking and tolerant. It is now time for MP’s to do the same.

I can guarantee that my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I will continue to trudge through the lobbies, time and time again, to stand up for the people being left behind by Theresa May’s destructive Brexit plan.

But will Jeremy Corbyn do the same? Today, Mr Corbyn will lead a Momentum demonstration outside parliament on the legal status of EU citizens in the UK. However, he has cowardly refused to guarantee that he will instruct his colleagues in both Houses of Parliament to keep fighting for these rights every step of the way. This is shameful.

It is now time for Labour and Conservative Parliamentarians to declare that they will not allow this Government to use citizens as bargaining chips. It is time for them to say this is not the Britain they know.

The Liberal Democrats will not be swayed in our commitment to our friends in Europe and we refuse to turn our back on the rest of the world. It is because of this that we continue to advocate in defence of Britain’s place in the Single Market and for the people to have a say on the final deal on our future relationship with Europe.

I am convinced that no deal we can achieve will be better than the one we already have. Yet today, MP’s have the opportunity to stand up and say that we will not allow this Conservative government to take us off the cliff and crash out of the EU with no regard for the consequences.

Tim Farron MP is the leader of the Liberal Democrats. He is the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale.

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