The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on the Prime Minister to give an immediate guarantee to EU nationals that they can stay in the UK after Brexit.
Sadiq wants the unilateral pledge, protecting the 3.3million EU citizens who currently live in Britain, to be given as soon as Theresa May triggers Article 50.
The mayor said: “My message to them is clear — you are Londoners, you are welcome here and you deserve a commitment from the Government that you can stay.”
Earlier this month, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the Article 50 Bill to give all EU citizens who currently live in the UK the right to stay here after Brexit.
This was rejected by MPs on Monday night and the Article 50 Bill passed into law unchanged.
Mrs May is now expected formally to trigger Article 50 before the end of March.
The Mayor wants the Home Office to set up a separate simple and comprehensive process for all EU nationals legally in the UK to apply for permanent residence.
The Mayor’s call to confirm the status of EU nationals coincides with the release of a new film telling the stories and sharing the experiences of the people behind the statistic of around one million EU citizens living in London.
As part of the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen campaign, the film introduces friends, colleagues, families from across Europe who call London home, with the aim of showing that London always has been, and will stay open to, global talent and trade.
Sadiq Khan said: “Make no mistake about it, the one million European citizens who study, live and work in our great city contribute massively to its success and there is absolutely no doubt that London would suffer immeasurably without them.
“Business, universities, schools and the health services are all telling me the same thing — you can’t keep over a million Londoners in limbo.
“It is vital that the Government gives them a cast-iron guarantee of the right to remain in the UK and does not use them as bargaining chips during the complicated process ahead.
“This reflects badly on London’s and UK’s global reputation.
“European citizens, who have studied, lived and worked in London for years – contributing massively to our success – now fear that they may not have a future in the city they’ve made their home. Many of them have had and brought up children here.”
The film can be accessed at www.london.gov.uk/europeanlondoners