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Labour Would Give EU Nationals the Vote in Second Brexit Referendum

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December 6, 2019

A Labour shadow minister has confirmed that a Labour government would radically tear up the rules of British democracy by giving EU citizens living in the United Kingdom a vote in a second Brexit referendum, saying the decision was not just down to people “born here”.

Speaking to Mishal Husain on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday, Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey confirmed that her party was committed to extending the voting franchise to non-British citizens. She said: “I think it’s right that people who work here from the European Union, who have lived here for a lot of their lives, their children go to our schools [should have the vote].”

Ms Husain interjected to point out that “not everyone has lived here for a lot of their lives and this is something likely to significantly affect the election result — and indeed makes it different from the last referendum”.

The Labour shadow minister responded by saying that Labour has pledged that every EU citizen living in the United Kingdom on Brexit day will automatically gain all the rights of a “citizen”. In her party’s rationale, that means democratic decision-making in this country cannot be the sole right of British nationals — or as she phrased it, “people who were born here”.

Ms Long-Bailey said: “Let’s remember that under a Labour government, we’ve stated that any EU national who is living here at the time we exit the European Union will be guaranteed the right to stay here as a citizen. I think it’s fair to ensure that those people have the opportunity to vote over their future.

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This article was posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7:06 am

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