The British Chambers of Commerce are absolutely right to call for EU citizens living in Britain to be given the right to remain here, Vote Leave Watch Chair and Labour MP Chuka Umunna has said.
Mr Umunna was responding to the publication of an embargoed poll by the British Chambers of Commerce, which found that 60% of businesses surveyed think residency guarantees for EU workers would have a positive impact on their business.
The BCC, one of Britain’s biggest business lobby groups, has called on the government to give EU citizens “the right to remain in the UK, to provide much-needed certainty both for EU employees and UK employers”.
The poll also found that 41% of companies that employ EU workers say EU staff have expressed uncertainty over their future residency status, while 5% of businesses that employ EU workers have seen EU employees resign following the vote to leave the European Union, and 10% of businesses have seen their EU employees state their intention to leave the UK.
Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:
“The BCC shows that granting EU citizens already here the right to remain in Britain is not just the right thing to do – it is also good business sense.
“Our economy depends on workers from EU countries who contribute to our country by working hard and paying their taxes. Not to mention the many European entrepreneurs who create jobs here for British people. Sending them on their way would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.
“This is the principled thing to do, as well as being pragmatic. EU citizens in Britain are our friends, colleagues, neighbours and sometimes family members. They must not be used as bargaining chips.”