Following a long-running campaign in which the Bow Group called for all five Conservative Party leadership candidates to clarify their positions on the status of EU Citizens and British Expats, David Davis MP recently addressed the matter directly.
Uncertainty as to the statuses of both EU Citizens in the UK and British Expats has been created through mixed messages by various individuals during the Party leadership race, as well as in recent months by senior officials within the new Conservative Government.
Theresa May previously gave some assurances as to her intentions for EU Citizens residing in the UK at a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, stating "I want to be able to guarantee their rights in the UK. I expect to, I intend to."
However, The Rt Hon. David Davis MP, Secretary for Exiting the European Union, recently gave the clearest indication yet as to plans for their right to remain. Speaking at a Spectator fringe event at Conservative Party Conference, he said:
‘We have no intention of deporting people or treating people who, through no fault of their own, are here during the middle of a transition to their own country, but what we have to do is also keep in mind the rights of British citizens abroad and so we’ll fix the whole thing together and I’m absolutely 100 per cent sure we’ll be able to do that and there will be no difficulty for anybody.
It’s a legal right, if you’ve been here five years you have indefinite leave to remain anyway, and if you’ve been here six years you can be a citizen if you want to. In fact, if anybody in the audience has been here two and a half years by the time we leave they’ll have been here five years and so there’s no risk to them.’
The Bow Group welcomes David Davis' comments and will continue to reciprocally support EU nationals and British Expats in their right to remain throughout the Brexit negotiations and beyond.