- Theresa May refuses to guarantee EU citizens living in Britain will be able to stay if Britain crashes out of the EU with no deal.
- “We don’t know what’s going to happen,” the PM told LBC on Tuesday evening.
- May also refused to say how she’d vote in another referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.
LONDON — Theresa May has refused to guarantee that EU citizens living in Britain will be allowed to stay if the UK government leaves Brexit negotiations with no deal.
Speaking to LBC radio on Tuesday, the prime minister was invited by host Iain Dale to promise the approximate 3.2 million EU citizens living in Britain will be able to stay “under any circumstances,” including a no-deal Brexit.
May admitted that she “didn’t know” what a no-deal Brexit would mean for the rights of EU citizens in Britain, but insisted that she and the government want them to stay.
Nina, an EU citizen based in London, contacted LBC to ask May if she’ll be allowed to remain in Britain if Britain crashes out of the EU with no deal in March 2019.
Nina said: “I’m extremely worried about my future. My question is, in case of a no-deal scenario, will the proposal of ‘settled status’ be withdrawn, and will EU citizens end up losing their rights and be deported?”
In response, May said: “We want you to stay. That’s the basic message, we want to make sure you can stay in the UK.”
The PM added: “What I’m going to say to Nina is that we will look at the arrangements that we would put in place in relation to ‘no-deal.’ We’re doing that at the moment – government across the board is doing work on that.
“We have teams of people working on every possible outcome. You would expect the Government to prepare… because we don’t know what’s going to happen.
“We’re working really hard to get a really good deal. We don’t know what’s going to happen and at the end of that if there is no deal, then we have to be prepared for it.”
In the same interview, May refused to say how she would vote in a re-run of the EU referendum, telling host Dale that she doesn’t answer “hypothetical questions.”
“I voted remain,” she told LBC. “I voted remain for good reasons at the time but circumstances move on and I think the important thing now is that we should all be focused on delivering Brexit and delivering the best deal.”
She added: “You are asking me to say: ‘How would I vote in a vote now against a different background, a different international background, a different economic background.
“What I did last time round was I looked at everything and came to a judgement and I’d do exactly the same this time round,” she said. “But we are not having another referendum and that’s absolutely crucial.”
May’s comments came after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told media that he would vote Leave in a second referendum on Britain’s membership having campaigned for Remain in the run-up to last year’s vote.
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