Raab vows EU citizens will NOT be turfed out if Brexit talks fail

Dominic Raab vows EU citizens will NOT be ‘turfed out’ of UK if Brexit talks fail amid claims government’s most drastic plans for ‘no deal’ are being kept secret

  • Dominic Raab has moved to reassure EU citizens about future if Brexit talks fail
  • Brexit Secretary insisted they will not be ‘turfed out’ after a no deal outcome
  • Government due to publish series of papers on plans for no deal Brexit tomorrow

EU citizens living in the UK will not be ‘turfed out’ if no deal is agreed with Brussels, the Brexit Secretary vowed today.

Dominic Raab insisted the government would ‘move swiftly’ to safeguard the future of nationals from the bloc as the standoff with Brussels deepened.

There was little sign of progress at a joint press conference with Michel Barnier yesterday, with the EU negotiator saying he would not compromise ‘principles’ of the EU single market. 

Ministers are due to unveil a slew of papers spelling out preparations for no-deal Brexit tomorrow. 

But there are claims that details of the most drastic scenarios being contemplated – including the possible need for a fleet of floating generators in the Irish sea to stop the lights going out in Belfast – are being suppressed to avoid panic.

Dominic Raab (pictured left at a joint press conference with Michel Barnier in Brussels yesterday) insisted the government would ‘move swiftly’ to safeguard the future of EU nationals if there is no deal

A single wholesale market for electricity has been operating across the island of Ireland since 2007.

But it is underpinned by EU law, leading to concerns that Northern Ireland – which imports power from the Republic – could be left short.

Draft contingency plans have reportedly been drawn up that would see the deployment of generators, including on barges, to fill the energy gap.

However, one senior figure told The Times that the proposals were so ‘incendiary’ Business Secretary Greg Clark had been instructed to avoid publishing them. 

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‘When we looked at this we found there weren’t enough readily available generators in the world for what would be needed,’ the source said. 

Speaking after his discussions with Mr Barnier in Brussels last night, Mr Raab said he was still confident of reaching an agreement in the end.

But he sought to reassure those living in Britain that ministers would act quickly to secure their position if the UK crashes out of EU.

‘We hugely value the contribution of EU citizens here in the UK and I am confident that in the unlikely eventuality that we don’t have a deal, we will move swiftly to secure their position,’ he told the BBC.

The Cabinet minister said it was ‘inconceivable we would do anything other than make sure that they are legally in a position where they’re secure to stay’.

A single wholesale market for electricity has been operating across the island of Ireland since 2007, but it is currently underpinned by EU law

‘There’s absolutely no question that we’re going to see EU citizens turfed out – we’ve made that clear in the past, I’ve made that clear in the past, I’m happy to give that reassurance again today,’ he added.

His comments appear to confirm that the Government ‘no deal’ papers will include a commitment to give EU citizens living in Britain the right to remain.

Mr Raab and Mr Barnier announced yesterday that they are intensifying negotiations amid increasingly frantic attempts to thrash out a settlement.

Mr Barnier, speaking alongside Mr Raab in Brussels, said it was possible for the UK and EU to find ‘common ground’ and create ‘a partnership that has no precedent’.

But he said that relationship had to ‘respect the single market and the foundations of the European project’.

He also jibed that the EU would not be to blame if the talks failed. 

Mr Raab admitted there were still some ‘significant issues’ to overcome, including their future trade relationship and the Northern Irish border.

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