Labour leadership hopeful Keir Starmer has called on Boris Johnson to give the three million European nationals living in the UK the right to vote, including in general elections.
Just hours before the UK leaves the European Union, Mr Starmer called on the PM to repay EU citizens loyalty after three years of “shameful” treatement.
Writing in the Guardian the Shadow Brexit Secretary said: “Britain is an outward-looking country with a proud history of internationalism and co-operation.
“When Boris Johnson decided last week to turn away child refugees, he stood in the face of those values. Instead of this, the government ought to begin to heal divisions.
“We need long-overdue security for EU citizens.
“The government should give all 3 million EU nationals living in the UK full voting rights in future elections.
“The way they have been treated over the past three years is shameful.
“We were never just ‘tolerating’ EU citizens living in this country – they are our neighbours, friends and families.”
Mr Starmer called for an end to the years of national division over Brexit.
He said: “As a country we’ve been bitterly divided for three and a half years. Our politics has been frozen instead of tackling the real and deep-rooted problems we face.
“Now the leave-remain divide must end. Defining people by how they voted in June 2016 merely upholds a divide that we must overcome. There are no leavers or remainers any more. In 2024 there will be no leave or remain constituencies.”