On Tuesday, Twickenham MP Tania Mathias and I joined Kingston Hospital Workforce Director Kelvin Cheatle and EU staff working at the hospital, pictured below, to discuss Brexit and the position of EU nationals who have been here for a considerable period of time. It was a valuable opportunity for us to say loud and clear that we want them to stay in the UK, that we are committed to securing the reassurances they need as soon as possible, and that both the UK and EU have agreed to address this early in the negotiations.
We fielded an hour of questions, from concerns about feeling unwelcome to practical questions about the process for obtaining permanent residence with the Home Office. We also committed to coming back again, at any time, if it can be helpful. The meeting was useful, and many said they felt reassured. Equally, it was a timely reminder for Tania and I that real people we value hugely in this country feel anxious about what lies ahead, and we have a role to play in both providing reassurance and offering practical advice.