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Lib Dems: Damian Collins has betrayed EU nationals in Folkestone and Hythe

March 14, 2017 12:20 PM

Lynne BeaumontThe Liberal Democrats have criticised Damian Collins for voting against the right of thousands of EU nationals in Folkestone and Hythe to stay last night, as a majority of MPs gave the final go-ahead to a hard Brexit.

There are 4,123 residents from elsewhere in the EU living in Folkestone and Hythe.

This includes 316 staff from the EU working in the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, including 51 doctors and 175 nurses. East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust runs the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Buckland Hospital in Dover, and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Folkestone.

Last night MPs overturned amendments backed by the Liberal Democrats to give Parliament a vote on the terms of the deal and to guarantee the right of EU nationals to stay after Brexit.

Folkestone and Hythe Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman, Lynne Beaumont, said:

"On this historic occasion, Damian Collins has chosen to support a hard Brexit and to vote against giving EU nationals living here the right to stay.

"This is a betrayal of the thousands of people from the EU in Folkestone and Hythe as well as their friends, colleagues and neighbours.

"The hundreds of local nurses and doctors from the EU are already worried about their futures here. This vote sends them completely the wrong signal at a time when our NHS is already facing huge pressures.

"This shows you can't have a hard Brexit and a strong NHS.

"Unlike our MP, the Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to give EU nationals living in Folkestone and Hythe the certainty they deserve and to stand up against a damaging hard Brexit."