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June 19, 2019

Boris asked to clarify position on EU citizens’ rights

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P
Pa
June 19, 2019

LONDON: Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson has been called on to clarify his position on British and EU citizens’ rights after Brexit, with an MP saying nobody “seems to be hearing a word from him”.

Change UK MP Christopher Leslie (Nottingham East) called on ministers to clarify Johnson’s (Uxbridge and South Ruislip) position on securing EU citizens’ rights after Brexit given the “crippling doubt and uncertainty” facing families.

Speaking in the House of Commons during an urgent question on British and EU citizens’ rights after Brexit, Leslie said: “I would like to know how many of the citizens affected the minister has actually spoken to. Do you actually understand the crippling doubt and uncertainty that is affecting so many hundreds of thousands of people, particularly with the spectre of no-deal hanging over their heads?

“And is there somebody else that the minister should be speaking to at this particularly crucial moment? The right honourable member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, who he should go and speak to right away to find out what on Earth he is planning to do, because nobody else seems to be hearing a word from him.”

Brexit minister Robin Walker replied: “I have met with EU citizens groups up and down the UK in a number of embassies and a number of events that we have held across the country. I have met with British citizens in a number of EU member states I have been visiting and their representatives. I continue to listen to their concerns and to make sure they are reflected at the highest levels of government.

“I am sure my right honourable friend for Uxbridge can answer for himself, but I will certainly be making the case to whoever takes on the leadership of our party and our country for securing the rights of EU citizens and UK citizens - needs to be a top priority.”

Earlier, Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake was called up by Commons speaker John Bercow after referring to MPs calling for a no-deal Brexit as “charlatans”. Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) said: “I find it very hard to contain my anger at the charlatans and snake oil salesmen who will again tonight, on television, be claiming that no-deal presents no difficulties. It might present no difficulties for them.”

Bercow asked Brake to withdraw the word “charlatans” if referring to another MP. Brake said he was not referring to any MP present at the time, but agreed to withdraw the statement. He said: “I am not impugning their integrity, I am certainly attacking their views, which I find outrageous.” —PA

down to a final two. With Johnson appearing certain of a place in the final two, the contest has become a battle for the right to a spot alongside him in the ballot of 160,000 Tory members who will choose the next party leader and prime minister.

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