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Business leaders urge swift confirmation of EU nationals' residency rights

Published 12/07/2016

Theresa May has been urged to deliver clarity on a host of key issues
Theresa May has been urged to deliver clarity on a host of key issues

Business leaders have urged Theresa May to swiftly confirm the long-term residency rights of EU nationals working in Britain's manufacturing heartland.

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, which represents more than 3,000 firms, estimates that almost 200,000 people from other EU countries live in the West Midlands.

Welcoming the swift conclusion to the Tory leadership contest, the business group's chief executive, Paul Faulkner, said: "Like many across the country, we have been calling for unity, clarity and strong leadership in recent weeks.

"It will be up to Theresa May to deliver unity - both in Parliament and across our communities - and the strong leadership our nation needs."

Urging Mrs May to deliver clarity on a host of key issues, including the long-term rights of EU nationals living in the UK, Mr Faulkner said: "They, and the businesses which employ many of them, need swift confirmation of their long-term residence rights as soon as possible to end the uncertainty they are living and working in.

"In addition, we would welcome further affirmation that critical housing, road, rail, energy and digital schemes, whether regional or national in scope, will push ahead as planned."

Describing recent political changes as "near unprecedented" in modern times, the business leader also urged those calling for a snap general election to pause and take stock.

He added: "We need both the Government and the opposition to be in a position where they can clearly set out their stalls on their vision and priorities for the UK during negotiations and post-Brexit before it can be a helpful exercise.

"More than that, we need a period of stability and certainty to help set the course of the UK's future. That being said, there are questions we need urgent answers to."

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