A new amendment tabled by Alberto Costa that seeks to guarantee EU citizens’ rights post Brexit has caused chaos within the Tory Party.
Theresa May originally described the amendment as unworkable but just hours later the Home Secretary said the party would be supporting it.
Alberto Costa was then sacked from his role as parliamentary private secretary to the Scottish secretary, David Mundell. It is unclear at present if the Tories will back the amendment.
Labour have announced they will back the amendment which already has the support of 130 MPs including 60 Tories, including some euro
The amendment seeks to guarantee the rights of all British nationals in the EU and EU nationals in the UK even in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
It calls on May to seek at “the earliest opportunity a joint UK-EU commitment to adopt part two of the withdrawal agreement on citizens’ rights and ensure its implementation prior to the UK’s exiting the European Union, whatever the outcome of negotiations on other aspects of the withdrawal agreement”.
“This is not about the single market or the customs union, this is about the rights of innocent people, most of whom did not have a say in the referendum, including British nationals in the EU,”Alberto Costa
Despite Costa being sacked, Sajid Javid said there was “nothing wrong” with the amendment and believed the government had been supporting it from the start.
“I’m perfectly happy with that amendment. What Mr Costa is doing with this amendment is trying to find more ways for parliament to give that reassurance, This is a backbench amendment and the government supports the amendment in that it sets out to achieve the principles we all agree on.”Sajid Javid
As well as having Labour’s backing the amendment is backed by prominent MPs such as Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Raab, Nigel Evans, Zac Goldsmith, Craig Mackinlay, Anna Soubry and Justine Greening.
If put to a vote the amendment is expected to pass comfortably.
Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on the sacking of Conservative MP Alberto Costa, said:
“The sacking of Alberto Costa for supporting citizens’ rights prolongs the anxiety and uncertainty that over 5 million people have faced for two and a half years. Alberto Costa’s amendment was a sensible measure trying to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and our own British citizens in the EU.”