At Prime Ministers Questions, SNP MP Deidre Brock called for Theresa May to take back control of her government and give immediate clarity to EU citizens that they can remain with their families after Brexit.
Deidre challenged the PM to meet the promise she made in an open letter that all lawful EU citizens would be able to stay.
Deidre again raised the case of her constituent Francoise Milne who has been refused residency rights despite being married to a Scot, Simon Milne, for 24 years and raising 3 children here.
"Theresa May's response ignores the reality for EU citizens and declares that everything will all be alright after Brexit – meanwhile people like Francoise Milne and her family are left swinging in the wind about their futures.
"The PM promises all lawful EU citizens will be able to stay, while the Immigration Minister said just last week that the rights of EU citizens were a matter for Brexit negotiations. Which one is it?"
"If the Prime Minister's words are not even backed up by her own cabinet, why should EU citizens take any comfort from them?
"There are thousands of spouses of UK citizens like Francoise – mostly women– whose lives have been shattered by the Brexit decision. They are told all their years in the UK don't count towards gaining citizenship, leaving them in fear of deportation after we leave.
''Francoise Milne's husband's income and her income together provide the matrimonial home and family life. The idea that she not been exercising her treaty rights is ludicrous. I have written to Ministers and will be writing again for clarification of their position.
"Theresa May must stop being in fear of her Brexiteer colleagues, take control and instruct UKVI to change the way it operates now.
''There are many people with different stories to tell, but a common thread among the constituents coming to see me is the fear that they will no longer be welcome in their home, and that a bureaucratic decision will see them sent away from their family or left without a secure right to stay here.
'' The case of Francoise and Simon - and other shocking cases - are doing terrible damage to our communities and to the families involved. The Tories should be ashamed of themselves. "
Transcript of Deidre's question and response, PMQs, 6/12/17
Deidre Brock MP
In October the Prime Minister wrote an open letter saying "EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay" but this week my constituent, Francois Milne, was told by UKVI that she had to wait until Brexit was done and then take her chances. Can the Prime Minister tell us – are the EU citizens living here just pawns in the Brexit negotiations or will she change UKVI's operating systems to ensure EU citizens can stay?
Prime Minister Theresa May
The position on EU citizens that I set out in the open letter that I sent is the position of the United Kingdom Government and I suggest to the Honourable Lady if she has a complaint about something UKVI has said then she sends that information to the Immigration Minister.
- Some of the coverage of Francoise Milne case: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/03/botanics-chief-flabbergasted-brexit-uncertainty-facing-french/ ; http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/queens-bodyguard-furious-french-wife-11634843 ; http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15699558.French_wife_of_Queen___s_bodyguard__has_UK_residency_bid_turned_down/
- Deidre's speech last week when she raised Francoise Milne's case in the chamber: http://dbrockmp.scot/my-blogs/eu-nationals