Statement from Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council, on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

11 September 2017


“Parliament is currently debating the European Union Bill and it is important we offer reassurances to EU nationals in the borough.

This is why I have written to the three MPs of Waltham Forest, The Rt.Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, John Cryer MP and Stella Creasy MP, to underline our commitment to all our residents.

There will be a range of views, both in our borough and in Parliament, about what future freedom of movement arrangements could look like. I have called on our MPs to join me in providing reassurance to EU nationals who already live here and contribute so much to our communities.

The 2016 ONS Annual Population Survey estimates that around 51,000 EU nationals currently call Waltham Forest home. These citizens make a positive economic contribution to Waltham Forest, and fulfil a number of vital roles for the wellbeing of our residents such as care workers, teachers and doctors and nurses.

Like me, I am sure our MPs have met people from the EU during the election campaign, in surgeries and in other meetings, who are understandably anxious about their future status and what the impact of Brexit could be on their future employment, homes and relationships.

EU nationals in Waltham Forest are now looking to elected representatives to ensure that their interests are properly taken into account. As the House of Commons began to debate the Repeal Bill I have urged our MPs to bear them in mind. I am sure these residents would find it reassuring if our MPs used the parliamentary debate to seek commitments from the Government about their future status. Many of them are looking for a status that will allow them to continue to live and work in Waltham Forest and continue to make a positive contribution to the local community.”