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“Wherever you call your home, no one had the right to simply snatch that away from you,” said Nick Clegg MP, former deputy prime minister and Lib Dem Europe spokesman. The Article 50 Bill, which was rejected by the House of Lords 358-256, must guarantee the right to stay to all EU citizens legally living in the UK before the Referendum, say the LibDems.
Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Newby, warned the government against the creation of fear among EU immigrants in the UK, adding that the Bill will not be stopped but “it is our job to scrutinise legislation and we will not be silenced in the Lords”. The goal of the Liberal Democrats, that in the House of Lords can count 102 peers, is to give voice to “the people of this country” regarding the future that they are going to face.
Baroness Kramer, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, insisted that it is not in line with British values to use “EU citizens as a bargaining chip” in the delicate diplomatic dialogues that are starting to take place with EU countries.
Despite the defeat in the Lords, the government is still determined to begin the mechanism of Article 50 the 31st March 2017, starting a process that will change the political and economic shape of the country.