Dickson asks UUP to explain opposition to EU nationals vote

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has asked two Ulster Unionist MPs to explain their position after they abstained on a vote to give EU nationals the right to remain in the UK after Brexit.

Tom Elliott and Danny Kinahan passed through both lobbies in the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday) in relation to a Labour motion calling on the Government to “commit that EU nationals currently living in the UK shall have the right to remain”. The vote passed 245 to two. Mr Elliott and Mr Kinahan stated they had abstained due to there being no mention of a reciprocal rights for UK citizens to remain in the EU.

“EU nationals contribute greatly to our society and local community,” said East Antrim MLA Mr Dickson.

“I would like to know why the UUP felt compelled to not support this motion, particularly in an environment where some people are using the EU referendum and its aftermath as an excuse to question the role of migrants here, and to then offer up a feeble excuse for their abstention.

“The prospective next Prime Minister has so far refused to guarantee the status of EU migrants is an issue for forthcoming negotiations around Brexit but I would hope the overwhelming success of this motion, despite UUP opposition, both puts pressure on her to do so and also shows EU migrants we are a welcoming society.”

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